Anthony Davis was aggressive from beginning to end in Game 2 for the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored a game-high 34 points on 15-24 shooting while adding 10 rebounds and four assists as the Lakers tied their second-round series with a 117-109 victory over the Houston Rockets.
The ongoing question regarding Davis is whether or not he should be playing more center in the playoffs and, especially, against the small-ball Rockets. Game 2 saw Davis almost exclusively at center with head coach Frank Vogel choosing to not play Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee seeing only eight minutes before exiting with an ankle injury.
The Lakers’ offense was undoubtedly more fluid overall, though that had as much to do with an improved defensive effort that allowed them to get out in transition. And for his part, Davis didn’t notice much of a difference in the looks he got while playing center as opposed to power forward.
“I think they’re all around the same area,” he noted. “Just trying to play closer to the basket and play a little quicker. I think the shots are the same; a lot of midrange and things that are close to the basket. Trying to stay as close to the basket as possible.”
Movement is extremely important for the Lakers in the series. Though they have the height advantage, the Rockets main defenders such as P.J. Tucker, Robert Covington and even James Harden are all strong and difficult to move off the spot even for Davis.
As such, attacking them moving is a much better option than simply sending Davis down to the block for a traditional post-up.
As Davis said, the goal is for him to get as close to the basket as possible and getting movement beforehand makes that far more feasible. But spacing is crucial as well, and Davis being the lone big man on the floor gives him much more room to operate.
However, arguably the most important aspect for Davis is his mindset. When he is aggressive and intent on getting to the basket there is very little that a defense can do to stop it.
Davis reportedly willing to play center
Whether or not it’s the best option or something that is a necessity for the Lakers, Davis is reportedly willing to make a move to center in this series against the Rockets.
It’s been no secret about Davis’ desire to primarily play the power forward position which is why the Lakers were intent on having multiple other bigs to take that load off of him. But with the Rockets’ speed posing such a problem, McGee and Howard will be difficult to play as much in this series.
In the end it’s all about winning and the reason Davis joined the Lakers was to compete for a championship. He is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal and playing more at the center position definitely qualifies.
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