After Anthony Davis signed with the Lakers, it was hard not to wonder what would happen in a potential Laker-Pelicans playoff matchup. The answer? It wouldn’t matter. Here are three reasons why this is true and exactly how it happened.
The “when will anthony davis return” is a question that has been on the minds of many. Anthony Davis is returning for the playoffs, but will he be enough to save LeBron and LA from playoff doom?
The most talked-about team in the league is on the verge of reintroducing a key player to their lineup. Anthony Davis’ status has been upgraded to questionable for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Sunday night game against the Miami Heat after missing 16 games. Davis’ two-way influence is badly missed by the Lakers, who continue to suffer horrendous defeats.
He struggled in the start of the season, but the Lakers’ ability to progress this season will be determined in the last weeks of the regular season. A play-in spot seems to be a foregone conclusion, but the Angels’ fandom has championship aspirations every year. With Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook lacking in consistency, this East Coast road trip is the ideal opportunity for them to reestablish their rhythm and chemistry with a nearly full roster.
AD’s defense is incredible.
The Lakers were the greatest defensive team in the NBA last season, despite their disappointing first-round loss. They are now ranked 19th in defensive rating, which is a dismal position for a team with championship hopes. On defense, Davis’ flexibility and skill have been sorely missed, particularly with so many poor defenders on the roster.
Davis’ defensive brilliance would be amplified even more given the current Lakers’ architecture, which is radically different from past editions. L.A.’s success is mostly due to their small-ball lineups, which feature either James or Stanley Johnson at the five, thus Davis will likely spend the bulk of his time at center. The problem with James or Johnson handling the middle was their lack of rim protection and rebounding, both of which Davis excels at.
Floor spacing that is consistent
Due to the Lakers’ roster and a lack of shooting surrounding James and Westbrook, David Fizdale and Frank Vogel decided to downsize. However, it has cost them their ability to play on the other end, causing them to lose crucial games. Because Davis succeeds on both ends, it would be easier to choose to play a big without shooting or downsize to enhance their scoring with his return.
Davis had struggled with his jump shooting before to his injury, but he has shown to be a solid and consistent player in the mid-range and on long-range bombs. In their 2020 Bubble championship run, he simply needs a little more time and confidence to raise his efficiency to a comparable level. Davis must be a serious threat with his outside shooting for Vogel to continue using an overpowering small-ball team, particularly with the playoffs rapidly coming.
The league’s top ten players
Davis is normally regarded as a top five NBA talent, but given his recent problems, a top ten ranking is still a more acceptable place. Davis’ domination and skill have been on display in games like as the 2020 West Finals and Finals versus the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, respectively. Michael Malone and Erik Spoelstra attempted a variety of defensive strategies to keep Davis from prospering, but none of them worked.
Despite the drama surrounding Westbrook and Vogel, Davis’ presence may silence the critics and create a fresh recipe for success. Over the last month, James has been bearing the offensive burden, but Davis might lighten the strain on the 37-year-old icon. Davis’ arsenal is especially impressive because, depending on how defenses are set up, he can employ a variety of moves in any zone of the floor.
The Lakers will have a long and difficult road to match the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors’ performances, but they may be a dark horse on the grandest stage. In the NBA Playoffs, the pressure increases, and L.A. is one team that will not collapse and give up under the brightest lights. Their roster needs a lot of work before the playoffs, but with three superstars in the lineup, anything is possible.
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