Richard Jefferson believes that without Anthony Davis, LeBron James will be unable to put together an MVP-caliber campaign.
The Anthony Davis injury has highlighted how the Lakers are vulnerable in his absence. LeBron James continues to go ballistic as and when he pleases, using his shooting and paint play to full effect.
But the rest of the team around LeBron is put under undue pressure when AD’s not on the floor. This is especially true on the defensive end.
Teams put their speedy guards on Marc Gasol to play him off the floor when they can. When Harrell is in, teams tend to increase their pick-and-roll play on offense. Markieff Morris is not playing well enough on offense to warrant inclusion in the starting lineup.
The 4-week absence of Anthony Davis seems like a window where the Lakers will have to be careful about their record. They’re currently sitting pretty at 4th spot in the Conference, but the likes of Phoenix and the Clippers are hot on their heels.
Richard Jefferson on how LeBron James is affected by the absence of Anthony Davis
Richard Jefferson was calling the Lakers-Nets game on Thursday night. But before he went on air, he put this following hot take on the airwaves for us to talk about:
“Anthony Davis is the key to the entire NBA. He allows Bron to be the MVP. If he’s not a 100% healthy then I don’t know if they repeat and I think you have to start looking at the Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets.”
Richard Jefferson dropped some bold Lakers takes on today’s @SportsNation:
• Anthony Davis being out will cost LeBron the MVP
• A less-than-100% AD means the Clippers or Nets will likely be this year’s champs pic.twitter.com/EhTBpUhfkW
— Mike Goldfarb (@MikeGoldFool) February 18, 2021
The Lakers did indeed feel the loss of Davis sorely last night. His presence would have allowed them to hide cover their terrible 3-point shooting to a certain degree. On the other side of the ball, Anthony Davis would also have forced the Nets to go for an even heavier perimeter barrage because of his paint presence.
Overall, the Lakers can still expect to be comfortably above .500 in their upcoming games. RJ’s concerns could prove to be of no consequence in the long run.