Lakers’ Davis hints to what he has in store for 2019/2020
It was with great admiration that the world watched Anthony Davis become a superstar at New Orleans Pelicans. It was only a matter of time before he requested a trade from them and as the calendar hit 2019, anticipation started to build around his rumored destination.
It didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to come calling with a substantial package for him. The initial package was declined by the Pelicans, however, after what seemed like forever, a deal involving an exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and future first-round picks finally sealed Anthony Davis’ move to LA Lakers.
Hitting the highs in his first season
Having averaged more than 20 points every season (other than in his rookie season) and at only 26, it’s safe to say that the Lakers have the potential to have Davis for some very prolific prime years of his career. Hopefully, his injuries that he struggled with at Pelicans won’t be a problem with a new medical staff to handle them.
One of the first things that head coach Frank Vogel had the very pleasant headache of trying to sort out was what position on the courts Davis would be best suited to. As one of the best all-rounders, Davis is both a center and a power forward, and he is undoubtedly one of the elite players for both positions in the current NBA. With LeBron James on the team too, it is possible for Vogel to use LeBron as a forward and Davis as a center, which is an intimidating prospect for any opposing team.
Davis’ debut for the LA Lakers didn’t go as well as he or the fans had hoped it would. Playing against one of the best defenses in the NBA in the Clippers, he struggled to put too much of his stamp on the game. In 37 minutes he posted a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double, along with five assists, a steal, and two blocks. He shot 8-of-21 from the floor (including 0-of-2 from distance), as well as 9-of-14 from the line and managed just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in the second half. He also only manager 2-of-13 on all shots from the rim.
However, Davis more than made up for it through his instrumental role in the Lakers’ win over the Memphis Grizzlies. His early trip to the locker room sparked some concern amongst players, coach, and fans, but he was merely re-taping his pesky right shoulder and soon returned to the court.
After getting back into play, Davis finished with 40 points, 20 rebounds, and two blocks within just three-quarters of the game. He knocked down a Laker’s record and career-high 26-of-27 shots during the game.
If this performance is anything to go by, we have a lot to look forward to and the Lakers can be confident that they’ve signed just the right player to lift them back onto their perch.
His partnership with LeBron
Before the season even started, James gave us insight into how highly he regarded Davis: “If we’re not playing through Anthony Davis while he’s on the floor, then there’s no sense to having him on the floor,” James said during the Lakers’ media day, per USA Today. “It’s exciting to have such a beautiful young mind and a beautiful player, but also a great leader as well.”
Although there have been some growing pains between the pair, they have rapidly grown to understand each other’s strengths and we are starting to see the partnership flourish. Davis is being used as the focal point on the court in LeBron’s twilight years, and he has ceded a lot of control as the Laker’s number 1 option. In fact, LeBron’s assist average per game since playing with Davis has been 9.5 and if he continues along this vein for the entire season, then this would be a career-high assists season for the superstar.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Anthony Davis is the real deal. The combination of him and James is a formidable one for anyone to face. The LA Lakers can go into their coming games with sky-high confidence knowing that they likely have the best current partnership in the NBA.
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