Lakers News: Anthony Davis Credits Kings’ Domantas Sabonis For Physical Play
Domantas Sabonis, Anthony Davis, Lakers, Kings
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have had four chances to silence the Sacramento Kings this season and failed to do so every time. And while they’ve had trouble with the Kings’ entire offensive scheme, they have particularly struggled with the Anthony Davis-Domantas Sabonis matchup.

It would be hard to argue that Sabonis is a better or more talented player than Davis, but when the two sides meet, it’s always Sabonis who comes out on top.

Sabonis is 10-0 in his career against Davis, and against the Lakers this season, he is averaging 18.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game while shooting 62.0% from the field. Davis, despite being one of the best defenders in the league, has yet to figure out how to stifle Sabonis.

He spoke after the game about what makes Sabonis difficult to guard and what the Lakers needed to do to ensure he doesn’t have as much success in future matchups, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Yeah, he’s a physical player. Just try to match his physicality, making him take a lot of tough shots. He just hurt us on the glass, not defensively, we missed a lot of shots and he’s the only big so he’s gonna get a lot of defensive rebounds, but offensively is where we try to eliminate the offensive rebounds… He’s an All-Star, been an All-Star. He’s a good player.”

Sabonis is undoubtedly one of the most offensively skilled big men in the NBA. There’s a reason he’s a three-time All-Star and made the All-NBA Third Team last season. However, in a similar way to Nikola Jokic with the Denver Nuggets, he finds particular success against the Lakers.

Perhaps it’s that Davis has been tasked with too much defensively and is unable to put direct focus on skilled opposing bigs like Sabonis, or it’s that Sabonis is simply a game-wrecker on that end of the floor. Either way, the Lakers have been bested by him four times this season.

If the Lakers do eventually have to meet the Kings in the Play-In Tournament or in the postseason, head coach Darvin Ham must have a more consistent plan for how to deal with Sabonis on the glass and in the paint.

Anthony Davis frustrated by loss

Anthony Davis expressed his frustration not just with another loss to the Kings, but that it happened in very similar fashion as their loss last week. Offensive inefficiency and turnovers allowed the Kings to pull away, and Davis warned that against a team like the Kings, those things can effectively end games early.

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