Key #1: Can anyone on the Clippers stop Anthony Davis?
No one in the league can stop Anthony Davis. No big man in NBA history could knock down a sidestep three-pointer so effortlessly.
The Phoenix Suns’ first-round pick, Jalen Smith, stood no chance. Smith actually did a good job of contesting the shot. Not even AD’s own shadow could guard that shot. I defended him in an article for Valley of the Suns, FanSided’s site for the Phoenix Suns. So it’s nothing personal.
But he got absolutely cooked on this possession.
How many 6’10” players can be this acrobatic around the basket? AD’s a 2K cheat code. He may even be an NBA Jam cheat code. His offense is mesmerizing. His defense is so ridiculous that it does not need any further analysis.
The Clippers will enact their version of the Jordan rules against AD. They will put Marcus Morris on him in an attempt to rough him up a bit. I also expect them to double team him as soon as he puts the ball on the floor. If AD has one weakness, it is navigating double teams in the post off the dribble. He often goes backwards and dribbles himself into a trap.
To combat this, I would run AD off pin-downs and cross screens. It is much harder to double team AD when he is attacking the basket off the catch. Morris will foul out quickly. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will have a tough time guarding him. Marc Gasol and LeBron James can get him the ball in his preferred spots.
If a locked-in Anthony Davis can attack defenses on the move, not even Steve Ballmer and Microsoft can create a computer-generated cyborg who can stop him.