With LeBron James still recovering from an ankle injury, the Lakers are looking to Anthony Davis to lead them through the first round.
Anthony Davis was traded by the Pelicans for a king’s ransom of young talent and draft picks. While New Orleans hasn’t even made a play-in game the past 2 seasons, the Lakers are defending champions.
There are few players who can measure up to a fully fit and engaged Anthony Davis on either end. AD is the best two-way player in the NBA bar none when his mid-range shots are falling. He has an unassailable repertoire of scoring moves on offense and plays stifling paint defense.
However, it’s been over 6 weeks since he returned from an injury concern regarding his calf and Achilles. He’s still not displayed the kind of consistency that one would expect from a supermax contract player.
AD has been stifled by too many top Western Conference teams for him to be considered a top-10 player. The 6’10” forward will need to be at his best self (as he was in the NBA bubble) for the Lakers to win a single playoff series.
Skip Bayless calls Anthony Davis the Lakers’ key over LeBron James
Skip Bayless went on air yesterday with a case for why Anthony Davis is the Lakers’ most important player. According to the FS1 host, AD is the barometer for the Lakers’ postseason hopes:
“The harder I look, the more I think the most valuable Laker is Anthony Davis, not LeBron James. What is he now, 43? ‘When AD is AD again, we’ll be the Lakers’ – said LeBron James.”
“Tonight, you’ll see it. Anthony Davis will come out of the gates and dominate. He’ll go right down and take a 12-foot jump shot, or he’ll dunk on Ayton. Something will happen early that we’ll say ‘Uh!! He came to play tonight!'”
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 25, 2021
Now as far as tone-setters go, Skip might indeed be right on the money with this take. Anthony Davis is the only fit Lakers superstar at the moment. If he’s ready to go at his opponents and dominate with his size and length, Lakers nation has a chance at leveling the series today.