Given Anthony Davis’s defense on Jimmy Butler and Adebayo today, it was no surprise that LeBron heaped the praises on his teammate and credited him for their win.
The Heat were held to their lowest total in these Finals today, losing 102-96. Although the Lakers themselves weren’t exactly on fire on offense, their defense in closing out on 3-point shooters and against Butler and Adebayo kept them in the lead.
They made a final surge late in the 4th to steer clear of their opponents. Davis put the exclamation mark on the contest with a block on Butler with under a minute remaining.
LeBron James praises Anthony Davis’s defensive skills in post-game presser
Speaking to Harrison Faigen of Lakers Nation, James went so far as to call Davis the Defensive Player of the Year. According to James, Davis’s defensive efforts on Butler were exactly the reason why he should have gotten the award.
LeBron on how valuable it was having Anthony Davis be able to guard Jimmy Butler:
“That’s why he’s the defensive player of the year.”
— Finals Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 7, 2020
James casting Davis as Defensive Player of the Year has a lot of substance. The big man finished second in voting for the award this year.
He is also playing better than James overall, despite not having the LeBron’s counting stats.
The advanced numbers, especially on/off splits for Davis, show how clearly his impact has been greater over the 4 games played thus far.
When Davis sat down with foul trouble for extended periods in Game 3, the Heat were able to run riot on the Lakers defense.
LeBron and co needed him back at his defensive best to take Game 4 today.