The Los Angeles Lakers found incredible success during the playoffs last season by playing Anthony Davis at the center position. Throughout his entire first season with the Lakers, Davis appeared reluctant to play center, saying he would do so if needed but preferred power forward.
Heading into 2020-21 season, with only one true center on the roster as opposed to two the Lakers enjoyed last year, it looked as though Davis would be forced to play at the 5 more regularly.
Despite the historically short turnaround, Davis said he’s prepared to play center depending on the matchups. “I’m ready to do whatever the team wants,” Davis recently said. “We’ve got Trezz and Marc who can play the 5, but there’s going to be games when I have to. Me and Coach talked about it, so I’m prepared to do that.
“We’ve got to be smart about when I do it, but it’s always a conversation. [Vogel] has a great thing of talking to his players and making sure we’re always on the same page. I may come to him and say, ‘Coach, let me play the 5 tonight. It’s a great matchup for me.’ We’d have a conversation about it and see where it goes.”
From what Davis said, it appears likely that he’ll play more minutes at center than he did last season, but it will still be limited. Playing Davis at the 5 unlocked a new potential for L.A., and that is something they don’t want to use all the time.
By keeping it as an emergency situation during the regular season, it allows Davis to preserve his body so that he’s ready to play center nearly full-time during the postseason.
Lakers starting lineup generating momentum
While Davis’ position is essentially set, how the Lakers starting lineup would come together was unclear. Dennis Schroder made his preference known, but head coach Frank Vogel initially was non-committal.
Schroder wound up earning the starting job at point guard, and along with fellow newcomer Marc Gasol, the two have begun to develop chemistry with Davis, LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
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