The REAL Reason Why Anthony Davis HELPS LeBron James & The Lakers (Ft. NBA Defense, Leadership)
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Anthony Davis changes the Lakers and LeBron James a lot more than you think in the NBA. #NBA #Lakers #Anthony Davis
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The Lakers are 1-1 without Anthony Davis playing. The one win was against the Warriors, who everyone beats... and they lost to a Pacers squad who still doesn’t have Victor Oladipo. They just lost to the Bucks in a game that Anthony Davis was clearly hurt, but still balled out, kinda like when he had 40 and 20 on a bad shoulder. So that got me thinking, how is Anthony Davis impacting LeBron and the Lakers?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Anthony Davis is averaging 27.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks on 50% from the field and 32% from the field. At times, he’s just bullying his opponents. This is nothing new for AD, these aren’t even career highs. This is his second lowest field goal percentage and second lowest rebounding numbers in his career.
Because Anthony Davis is playing and is capable of carrying lineups with LeBron, LeBron is playing a career low minutes per game at 34.7 minutes per game. That allows LeBron to do more in the minutes he’s playing, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. LeBron is on pace to have the highest defensive win shares of his whole career. AD is also holding LeBron responsible for his play which is something we haven’t seen since Wade did on the Miami Heat days. Davis said that he wants LeBron to make an all-Defensive team.
That 2017 Cavs team didn’t hold LeBron accountable for his defense and it began to impact the rest of the team. The team was 29th in the league in defense. With Davis who’s also a free agent and one of the best players in the league, he ain’t gonna take LeBron’s antics. I mean AD’s been clowning LeBron in practice too. We haven’t really seen that lazy LeBron defense that we saw for the past few years. While I think LeBron is a great leader, he’s at best when it’s not just the LeBron show. Last night against the Bucks, the main reason the Lakers were in it was because Anthony Davis wanted the win, even when LeBron became lackadaisical and too passive, even when he turned it over, AD wanted the win and you could see it in his attitude. Remember Davis is only 26, he’s the young guy that is hungry for his first championship. Keeping this context in mind, there’s obviously a lot more AD does on the court.
In terms of defense, Davis is just the jack of all trades. He is the best shot blocker in the NBA, but he can still guard point guards on the perimeter. He’s dropping 3 point field goal percentages by 5.2% and 13.1% on shots inside the paint. We are talking about the possible defensive player of the year here so there’s not much more to say.
Even though LeBron James is averaging a career high in assists at 10.6 and even though LeBron is averaging 3 assists to Anthony Davis which is the highest assists to any single teammate over his career, AD is really shooting his second lowest field goal percentage ever. Bballbreakdown did a great video on how LeBron finds Anthony Davis for his passes. There’s the fast break when LeBron makes a pass over the defense to AD. The options are ridiculous off a pick and roll. There’s the simple pick and roll in which LeBron finds the opening to a rolling AD who just finishes. There’s when the defense traps LeBron so then LeBron patiently draws the defense and finds the open AD. If the roll isn’t there, then Davis pops out to the midrange area which he’s great at.
When AD is in the post, even with Giannis guarding him, the Bucks double.
I get that Anthony Davis is a transcendent player and he’s going to average MVP type numbers on both ends of the floor, but there’s so much more that comes with Anthony Davis being on the Lakers with LeBron. We’ve never seen Davis play in such a meaningful season where he’s on a team that could potentially win it all. My main concern with him has always been his random injuries. If he’s hurt in the playoffs and he just moves less off-ball and defense, the Lakers lose a lot of their identity, their defense.. So yeah Anthony Davis helps the Lakers in the ways everyone expected, and much more. But what do you think? Will AD win defensive player of the year? Are the Lakers winning the championship?