2. Russell Westbrook is a big reason why Anthony Davis is struggling
Anthony Davis has not been himself this season and that has hurt the Los Angeles Lakers. Davis is not putting up his typical numbers and is not even playing how he should be. He has turned into a jump-shot specialist despite being the most inefficient jump shooter in the NBA this season.
Davis defintiely needs to shoulder the blame and strive to play better. The Lakers are only going to go as far as he takes them and the way he is playing they are going to fail to get out of the first round of the playoffs.
While Davis needs to commit to be better, if we look at this in a big-picture sense it is not hard to see why he is struggling. The floor spacing of this team is terrible and the only way for the Lakers to even try and help that problem is by turning AD into a jump shooter. Why is the spacing terrible? Because of Russell Westbrook.
Davis is playing a lot of minutes with a point guard who is not a great shooter and is constantly driving to the rim and kicking alongside a traditional center like Dwight Howard who camps in the paint. There can only be so many bodies in the paint and it is crowded, which is pushing Davis to the outside.
Part of the blame is on Davis because if he just committed to playing the five it would at least be somewhat better. That being said, the Lakers did not sign a single true power forward who could help at the four and space the floor. It is a blend of roster mismanagement and Westbrook’s style simply not fitting with Davis.
If the Lakers trade Westbrook you would suddenly see the old AD that we saw the last two seasons. That is all the proof we need. A player in his 20s with MVP potential doesn’t suddenly get much worse.