HomeSportsAnthony Davis reportedly told the Lakers he wanted to play less central...

Anthony Davis reportedly told the Lakers he wanted to play less central this season

2023 NBA Playoffs: Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are walking on a fine line.

On the one hand, Anthony Davis is one of the best centers in the NBA – he averaged 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season, is one of the best defensive centers in the league and the Lakers were 7.8 points per 100 possession better. last season when he was on the field. He’s focused on playing his strengths (fewer 3-pointers) and if he plays 65 games this season with most of his minutes in the five, Davis is very likely an All-NBA center.

On the other hand, Davis isn’t so keen on the wear and tear of playing in the five – and he told the Lakers directly, reports ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Sources told ESPN that Davis made it clear to the organization that he wanted more support at center so he didn’t have to play as much during the regular season.

See also  The Braves and Dodgers are the World Series favorites ahead of the trade deadline

Davis played 100% of his minutes at center last season according to Basketball-Reference (Cleaning the glass said “only” 99%). This year, the Lakers added some depth to the five, bringing in the athletic Jaxson Hayes and the offensive minded Christian Wood take center stage this season. Those are solid players that can help keep Davis’s minutes down, maybe keep him playing for a few minutes, and most importantly, don’t see a huge drop in the games Davis misses.

However, to close – and probably start – games, as Jovan Buha pointed out in The Athletic — Davis will be in the middle. The reason is defensive. For example, if Hayes started in the middle, Davis would slide into the four, where he would be more often compared to smaller, faster athletes on the edge, and he would be pulled away from the edge. More importantly, LeBron James is guarding threes in this lineup, and no matter how impressive a player is at 38 years old (he turns 39 in December), he’s not going to consistently stay ahead of small forwards over the course of 82 games. It’s a bad match.

See also  Lynch explains why 49ers gave up QB

Still, the Lakers found a way to get Davis’ minutes out of five behind. It’s part of a solid Lakers off-season that built on what they did at the trade deadline. Gabe Vincent will help on that point and the UC Santa Barbara product showed with the Heat that he can be trusted in the playoffs. Cam Reddish brings depth to the wing. Austin Reaves has impressed with Team USA and looks poised for a step forward. Rui Hachimura returns.

And then there’s Hayes and Wood. They bring depth up front and hopefully can give Davis something he wants this season, a little less time in the five during the first 82 so he’s ready for the second season of the playoffs. Because that’s where the Lakers will be judged.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments