While the Lakers as a whole have had a disappointing preseason, finishing winless in their six games, one of the brightest points on the exhibition list was Anthony Davis. After a lost season due to his slow start and injuries, Davis responded this preseason by recalling how dominant he can be.
From the first game of the preseason he chose to play as fellow superstars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook took a slower approach to start the season, Davis set the tone from the start. As impressive as his play was during the preseason, nothing was more important than him to show he was healthy and ready to start the season.
“I feel great,” Davis said after the pre-season final against the Kings. âThat’s what the preseason is for, trying to find a rhythm and that’s why I wanted to play most of the games, play five out of six, I was trying to find that rhythm. I didn’t shoot it well tonight, but I think overall I found a good pace when it comes to basketball shooting, conditioning, defensive tendencies and things like that, so I was feel good before opening night.
Much of the focus has been on how James and Westbrook will fit in next to each other this season, leaving Davis as the strange man in most conversations. While this is understandable given the star power of James and Westbrook and how poor Davis looked on his last outing, a healthy and clicking Davis will be a huge factor for the Lakers this season.
Defensively, no one on the Lakers will be more important than Davis, who is one of the best defensive great men in the league in his prime. For a team that has sacrificed much of its defensive talent for offensive firepower, Davis’ importance on this side of the pitch has only increased.
The main discussion about Davis this preseason has revolved around his standing on the pitch as a four or five. His ability to be an All-NBA talent in either position is a testament to his versatility and shows how important he can be to the Lakers this season.
All of this, however, rests on the fact that Davis is in good health. Without him, much of what the Lakers want to be is made much more difficult, if not impossible, as much of last season evidenced. If Davis is at his best, the Lakers’ floor has risen significantly and if the preseason was any indication, Davis is gearing up for another huge season, which is great news for the Lakers and their fans.
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