Darvin Ham: Lakers Need To Move Anthony Davis Around To Get Him Ball After Rough Game 2 Performance Against Warriors
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

After a dominating performance in Game 1, all eyes were on Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis to see if he could replicate that effort in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, Davis put forth a disappointing performance and the Lakers followed suit with a blowout loss.

Davis finished with just 11 points and seven rebounds as the Warriors switched up their defensive strategy against the Lakers’ big man. With Kevon Looney dealing with an illness, the Warriors inserted JaMychal Green into the starting lineup and Draymond Green took on the task of being the primary defender on Davis.

After the game, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham credited Green for his effort but also put pressure on the Lakers themselves to help Davis out.

“Dray, he’s going to do his work early. That’s why he’s a perennial all-defensive player. He’s going to force tough catches. When he’s on the ball, his on-ball activity is second to none. He’s a good communicator,” Ham said.

“If A is not trying to go at him, he’s going into secondary action after getting the ball to A. He’s great at that, whether he has to switch or talk his guy through the scenario. He’s been top-shelf his entire career in that regard. Again, we got to go back and look at ways we can move A around, put him in different spacing, different actions, just try to diversify his attack.”

As was to be expected, the Warriors made some adjustments and they paid off. Now the pressure will be on Ham and the Lakers coaching staff to do the same and turn the tide back in their favor. The staff did an excellent job of doing this against the Grizzlies, but doing the same against the defending champions is a different task altogether.

But make no mistake, the key to the Lakers’ success is Davis being dominant as more often than not, that has led to victories. While some of that has to do with Davis himself being locked in and aggressive, it is also a matter ofo the coaches and the Lakers’ playmakers to get Davis the ball in different areas.

Perhaps too often Davis was relegated to midrange jumpers and floaters. That is a large part of his offensive repertoire, but they weren’t falling in Game 2 and at some point, an adjustment to get Davis deeper in the paint and perhaps more post touches could have been made. Heading back home with a a series tied at 1-1 is not a new position for the Lakers, and the answer to regaining the series lead is the same in unlocking Davis.

Darvin Ham cites load management as reason Anthony Davis’ big postseason minutes

With the game getting out of hand in the second half, Davis played just 33 minutes in Game 2. But in a close Game 1, he played 44 minutes including the entire second half. It was a welcome sight and Ham pointed to load management as the reason Davis is able to play big minutes in the postseason.

“Again, I repeat, this is what load management is about. If there’s going to be load management, we have to manage their loads throughout the regular season in order for us to push them a little further during this time of year. Postseason, everything is at its peak,” Ham said.

“You have to pare down your rotation and you got to push the big dogs. Your big dogs got to be there early and often. We just made a conscious decision, communicated on the sideline, and we were able to push him on through and allow him to play the full half.”

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