It’s two games and two losses into the season and frustration is bubbling up on the Lakers.
During a second quarter timeout, Anthony Davis followed Dwight Howard to the Lakers bench to discuss something from the previous play. Howard was seated, Davis stood over him, Howard stood up, and there was a push before teammates separated the duo.
Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard got into it and had to be separated by their Lakers teammates 😳pic.twitter.com/fyfxBtf0oO
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 23, 2021
After the game, everyone said it was nothing, with coach Frank Vogel adding the incident was a “discussion” of defensive coverage.
Anthony Davis on the confrontation with Dwight Howard: “It’s over with.”
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 23, 2021
Dwight Howard on the argument with AD on the bench in the 2nd Q, which he said came from a disagreement on the court: “We already squashed it. That's my brother. We're good.”
Added: “We all understand that we have to stay humble and stay positive.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 23, 2021
"When you're getting your ass kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated…I'd rather our guys care than not care." Frank Vogel discusses Dwight & AD's incident and the new-look #Lakers being in a learning period two games into the season. pic.twitter.com/OUmHRCq72H
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) October 23, 2021
Howard did not play in the second half, although Vogel said that was not a punishment but was about the game situation (the Lakers trailed by 27 entering the fourth and focused on smaller lineups). Vogel showed in the postgame press conference why he is a good fit in terms of temperament for this veteran team — asked multiple times about Howard and AD, he kept his cool and said it was nothing.
Because it likely was nothing. This spat ranks pretty low on the list of Lakers’ problems coming out of a game where they trailed Phoenix by 32 in the third quarter and the fourth felt like garbage time. This veteran team can handle a little dust up like this, although it wasn’t the only sign of frustration — Rajon Rondo got into a verbal spat with a fan, and that fan was ejected. Several Lakers admitted after the game they lost their composure.
Still, the play of the Lakers’ struggles in the halfcourt, play on the wings and from the bench are higher priorities, as is finding lineups that have some flow (the Lakers played better in the fourth with small-ball lineups, cutting the final score to 115-105, but the game wasn’t that close).
The lakers are now 0-2. The good news for LA is the schedule softens up a bit, including Memphis on Sunday.