Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis was the best player on the floor Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and three blocks on an efficient 13-for-20 from the field, anchoring both ends of the floor for the Lakers. It lessened the load off of LeBron James, who finished with 22 points in the victory.
Davis has been hot and cold when it comes to offensive production this season. While he’s shown that he can be a dominant presence on that end, he has also had several quiet games where he disappears from the game plan. But his place as the defensive anchor has been consistent in each game.
James recognizes that asking Davis to be both and offensive juggernaut and a wall defensively is a tall order, but he sees what Davis is capable of even against difficult opponents, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah I mean we expect a lot from AD. We want him to be aggressive offensively and at the same time anchor our defense. Tonight was an AD game. Defensively they have those trees in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and I thought AD did a great job attacking, and at the same time trying to defend and cover the glass when those guards are getting into the paint, trying to change shots at the rim and get blocked shots, and trying to clean the glass at the same time. So AD was big time tonight for us.”
James believes the only way to get Davis to be more consistent with his offensive output is to be more consistent in finding him and involving him in the game plan:
“I think just being more conscientious about finding him. He sets 95% of our pick and rolls. And when he has an opportunity to catch it in the pocket or the bigs aren’t up and we find him a lob or find him in transition to get an opportunity to seal, we have to find him. It’s that simple. And there are also times where we have certain play calls that we can call on the fly to help him get the ball as well. Even if he’s not shooting, it’s just touching the ball and I think from the beginning of the game, I think he — right after my and-one we got the opportunity to call our first set — he touched the ball. Throughout the whole game, he touched the ball and that’s big for our ballclub.”
This has been an ongoing conversation surrounding Davis for a couple of seasons now. But with championship expectations this season, the Lakers have to figure out a way to avoid the all-too-common low scoring games from their superstar player.
Davis discusses big scoring output in second half
Davis scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half and spoke about the difference in aggression between the halves.
He also joked that he saw Christian Wood having more points than him at halftime and couldn’t let that stand for the full game.
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