With more than half of the 2019-20 NBA season officially in the books, it is safe to say that Anthony Davis has been just what LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers needed to officially vault the storied franchise back into championship contention.
Davis has always been one of the most talented players in the NBA, but he has been unlocked playing in Los Angeles as he has been able to showcase his skills on both ends of the court. James at point guard has allowed him to score at an easy and efficient rate and he has also done an amazing job quarterbacking head coach Frank Vogel’s defensive scheme as he is able to defend the rim and hang on the perimeter.
Any time teams make major roster moves like Los Angeles did in the 2019 NBA offseason, there is always an expected adjustment period, but they surprisingly hit the ground running and will head into the 2020 NBA All-Star break with the Western Conference’s best record.
“I expected us to be good. We had games we should have won that we lost, but our team chemistry is unbelievable. Our guys… like everyone on the team likes each other. We play for each other, play hard, play together, so we’re on the right path.”
Los Angeles has already had several games they probably should have come away with a win, but still have managed to go on enough winning stretches to put them in prime position going forward. Vogel has done an excellent job in getting his team to buy into what he and the coaching staff are preaching and Davis and James’ sign off has paid dividends.
Team chemistry is often an overlooked ingredient when trying to dissect what makes a roster so good and this iteration of the Lakers has clearly shown there is a genuine joy for playing with and for each other. There have been several displays of that throughout the season and that bond and camaraderie is something often seen in championship-level teams.
Despite some rough showings in recent weeks, this veteran-laden roster has proven they can remain even-keeled as it is a long regular season and that the playoffs are still a bit away. Davis and the Lakers should be able to recapture their early-season success in the second half.