Superstar Anthony Davis recently commented that his first year with the Lakers has gone exactly the way he pictured it.
There are few teams in the sports universe that come in with an annual expectation of winning it all or else. Certainly, it is reasonable to say the Los Angeles Lakers fall into that elite category.
Needless to say, the extreme lack thereof when it comes to postseason success over the last decade has haunted the vaunted Lakers organization. Given the team’s rich history, one cannot say with confidence that the 2010s decade was one to remember.
However, despite that being the case to go along with how rocky 2020 has been in general, the Lakers have a legitimate chance to salvage just how bad things have been. After defeating the high-tempo offense of the Houston Rockets 4-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals, L.A. looks determined to win some bling.
One of the primary reasons why the Lakers have such high hopes is due to the strong play of big man Anthony Davis. In a nutshell, Davis has been spectacular in every sense of the word ever since the Lakers traded for him last summer. Frankly, spectacular is not even a sufficient way of describing it.
Everyone knew when the Lakers acquired Davis that they got a remarkably gifted combo power forward/center. On account of that, Lakers fans and the basketball world alike expected the Lakers to easily be better than the pedestrian No. 10 seed that was on display in 2018-19.
Be that as it may, not everyone saw this coming. The presence of Davis has truly metamorphosed the Lakers back into the form of an NBA giant.
Without a doubt, the massive deal that brought superstar LeBron James to the team in the summer of 2018 forevermore changed the landscape of the franchise. It made the Lakers relevant again because they now possessed perhaps the best player on Earth.
Notwithstanding how remarkable the James signing was, having AD as well has been the reason the script has been edited for the better in Hollywood. The Lakers look like a Hollywood-esque team and their performance so far in the postseason has shown that looks are not always deceiving, after all. On the contrary, they are the real deal.
Davis played remarkably well in the regular season for the purple and gold, particularly on the defensive end of the hardwood. His athleticism, wingspan, and energy were key factors in making the Lakers a defensive juggernaut.
As a matter of fact, Davis ended up finishing second in the DPOY voting to Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Additionally, the Lakers’ talented big man was recently named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for his stalwart efforts this year.
Davis has been all the more impressive this postseason for Los Angeles. The Brow is currently averaging 27.6 points, 10.9 boards, and 4.1 dimes per game in the playoffs, numbers that surpass his regular-season totals.
On that note, it is easy to decipher why the Lakers have been so successful up to this juncture. The Lakers’ star has elevated his game when it matters most, and it is certainly going to be important that he continues this level of play moving forward regardless of the opponent.
While not everyone expected Davis to be this good, the former Pelican stated otherwise recently. He had more than enough faith in his abilities despite the change of scenery, and he imagined the Lakers making noise in the postseason.
According to Christian Rivas of Silver Screen & Roll, Davis revealed after the series win over Houston that his experience with the Lakers has been “everything that [he] envisioned.”
“It just feel like everything is falling into place,” Davis said. “When I got here obviously the goal was to win championships, and we’re eight wins away. It’s been a great process for me. It’s been great being around the guys that we have, obviously it’s been great being around ‘Bron, him helping me through it all.
“Obviously, at this point now, the Western Conference Finals is new for me, so that process is going to be fun, but it’s everything that I envisioned.”
Indubitably, for Lakers fans, it is difficult to not be pleased reading Davis’ comments. All signs suggest he is content with the Lakers and where things stand as of now.
It is hard to blame him for being happy provided that he never made it this far in the postseason with New Orleans. The Lakers have a chance to do something special this year, and they are 50 percent finished with their ultimate goal.
Indeed, there is a lot of work left to be done, but it is encouraging to see that AD is enjoying the process. It definitely makes matters easier considering the kind of people that are around him.
This Lakers’ team has had such outstanding chemistry since day one and never has there been a tale written about so and so not getting along with someone else. Nothing of that nature has transpired and it sheds light on why the Lakers are in the position they are in.
The Lakers just look free when they step on the court and it has been another reason they have separated themselves from the pack. Yes, they are more than capable of getting the job done, but to see smiles during timeouts or player celebrations on the sidelines during a breakaway dunk are further indicators about how good this group is.
They truly feed off one another and it adds credibility to Davis’ comments about James specifically. The two really have been a match made in heaven and most could not have predicted that things would have turned out this good.
It is clear James has helped Davis reach new heights and his tremendous passing abilities spell out why AD has enjoyed such a great year with the Lakers. The same can also be said in terms of Davis’ impact on LeBron.
LeBron has looked far more committed on defense this season than he ever did last year, and there is no doubt AD has played a role there. Davis’ primary objective is to be impactful on “D” and James and the Lakers have followed suit.
Albeit it is their first year together, the LeBron-AD duo has been such a joy to witness. Their physical attributes and talents speak for themselves, but how well they click on the court has propelled the Lakers to being one of the last few groups standing.
No one knows for sure, but it could very well be enough to persuade Davis to stay with the Lakers in the years to come. The team has met his expectations in making it to where they are and getting to play with one of the all-time greats in the process is bound to make the job a satisfying one.
Certainly, winning it all would be the biggest assist possible in trying to convince him to stay with the Lakers. Any player relishes the opportunity to be connected with a winning franchise, and the purple and gold have a shot to be at the top of the basketball world if they keep playing at such a high level.
A lot of it will be contingent upon what Davis does on the court, and there is no reason to think he will suddenly slow down. He has been a monster for the Lakers and they will need him to continue to give everything possible in the tank to accomplish the goal of winning banner number 17.