Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers joined the absolute frenzy that was the 2019-2020 off-season period. In an off-season that saw superstars like Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and many others switch teams, Anthony Davis followed suit.
Davis was stuck on the New Orleans Pelicans, which already seemed to not be ideal for the Brow. He made it clear at the beginning of the season that he wanted a trade, and it didn’t take long for fans and media to discover that the Lakers were his preferred destination.
Throughout the 2018-2019 season, multiple offers and talks between the Pelicans and Lakers were leaked. This led to the Pelicans pulling out of talks for AD. That off-season, after the Pelicans received the number one draft selection and presumed number one pick Zion Williamson, the Lakers finally got the trade done. The Pelicans acquired three first round picks, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. The Lakers; however, got all they wanted and needed, Anthony Davis.
The 27 year old Power Forward from Kentucky has already made waves in the NBA. He has seven All-Star selections, an All-Star MVP, three All-NBA first team selections, and three All-NBA defensive team selections to his name. As impressive as that is; however, he has yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs. Although, that is mostly due to a poor supporting cast and some mild injury history.
The Lakers seem to be one of, if not, the favorites to win the championship, and Anthony Davis is a big reason for that being the case this season. Last season, the Lakers were disappointing. Lebron James joined the team and expectations were high. Lebron was coming off of a very impressive 2018 campaign that ended with a finals mismatch against the Warriors. When he left Cleveland for LA, many people were predicting their wins to be over 50 and for a deep playoff run to occur.
It’s safe to say we were all shocked when the Lakers only finished with 37 wins and the tenth spot in the Western Conference, but when AD showed up to town, it gave Lakers fans something to cheer for. So far in the 2019-2020 season, the Lakers have taken the top spot in the conference and Lebron is in MVP talks.
The season has since been suspended, but with the sample size we have, we can see the wonders that Davis has done for the Lakers. First off, we have to talk about the scoring. Having another superstar caliber scorer on the Lakers has helped them tremendously. It allows Lebron to worry more about facilitating than scoring, which is when he seems to play his best basketball.
Defensively, AD is the presence that the Lakers really lacked last season. LA had a few players here and there that could give someone the clamps, but no one of Davis’ caliber. He’s making a DPOY campaign as we speak and it’s the main reason the Lakers have improved so much on that side of the ball.
Many people will say Lebron James is still the main reason for the Lakers success. To be honest, I agree that he is the centerpiece of the squad, but history goes to show that Lebron wins when he has shooters surrounding him. Anthony Davis is a great shooter, especially compared to other centers, but his main impact comes with his post game. His sheer dominance in the post makes other defenders collapse leaving other Lakers like Danny Green, Lebron, KCP, Kuzma open for shots and driving attempts, or a post-up bucket for Davis.
AD spacing the floor for Lebron and others has created many opportunities for scoring plays. The Lakers are ranked 5th in offensive efficiency so far through this season and they show no signs of slowing down. Davis has impacted the free agency market as well.
Throughout history, the Lakers have been a top destination for all free agents. However, the last few years we’ve seen them struggle to reel in top talent on the market. When Lebron joined the team, it seemed as though LA was right back in their place as the top destination for players looking for their next chapter of their careers. But after a disappointing season, it seemed like the Lakers were going to have to go back to square one. But the trade went through, Danny Green signed, and its safe to say that in the future, the Lakers will remain to be the league’s marquee franchise.
It’s indisputable that AD has helped the Lakers out exponentially this season. They had more wins this season than the previous year by the All-Star break, and they are currently first in the Western Conference. It seems like it’s safe to say that showtime is back in Los Angeles, and it’s all thanks to Anthony Davis.
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