The Los Angeles Lakers trading for Anthony Davis to begin the 2019 NBA offseason was a game-changing move for them and the NBA as a whole.
Davis has long been considered one of the most talented players in the entire league and teaming him up with LeBron James gives the Lakers legitimate championship aspirations.
After sitting out some of the 2018-19 NBA season with the New Orleans Pelicans following his trade request, Davis is anxious to show the world that he is still among the league’s elite. A true two-way talent, he can do everything offensively, but it is defensively where he could be an even bigger difference-maker and that is where his focus is.
Davis spoke with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, saying that his goal for the 2019-20 season is to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year and he plans on holding all of his teammates — James included — accountable on that end of the floor:
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron, accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night.”
Davis would continue on his defensive goals for himself, James, and the Lakers as a whole, which he believes can lead to a championship for this team:
“I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team. And for me personally, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year. If we’re able to hold teams under 100 [points], which is probably unrealistic but it should be our goal, I think we’ll have a shot at winning the title.”
While so much focus tends to be on offense and James has spoken about what he hopes for Davis on that end, the Lakers have some pieces to be very good defensively.
Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard should give the team rim protection at all times while Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have proven to be above-average perimeter defenders at their best. Not to mention head coach Frank Vogel is known for his work on that side of the ball as well.
Whether or not everything will work the way Davis hopes remain to be seen, but if he is holding everyone accountable and James is locked in leading the way, the potential is there to turn heads.