Since Darvin Ham took over as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, it’s been clear that Anthony Davis will become even more important to the Purple and Gold’s success.
Right in his first press conference as Lakers head coach, Ham vowed to run the Lakers’ offense through Davis. The plan not only has the blessing of LeBron James, but the four-time NBA champion has reportedly been encouraging the 29-year-old forward to take charge of L.A.’s offense.
Davis comes off a dominant performance in Sunday’s win against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 28 points in 21 minutes after starting the game at the 5. After the game, Ham confirmed using the eight-time All-Star as the team’s starting center is one of the options he is considering.
“Absolutely. I mean, it’s not a knockdown, drag-out, bruiser body type game anymore, you know, the game we play at this level,” the head coach said.
“So AD starting at the five is definitely on the table. That’s something that’s under heavy, heavy consideration. Here, we want to put our best five out there to start the game and be able to have a really solid rotation.
“Once we get to the end of the game, should that game be close, you know, we can have a variety of things in our back pocket and throw at the opposing team, but AD starting at the five. I think that’s, that’s definitely plausible.”
Davis propelled the Lakers to the victory over Golden State despite the absence of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. In Ham’s view, the forward’s performance further proved Davis is a multi-level scorer, capable of spearheading L.A.’s offense.
“You saw it on full display last night,” Ham said. “Obviously, things will be different with the added bodies that were out of the lineup last night, but for the most part, everybody that was on that sideline have been aligned with my makeup.
“And you saw it last night the way he’s a multifaceted person, and shoot as many threes. I want him to set a record this year for the amount of threes taken this season. Just be able to shoot them and make them at a high clip and still go down on the box and get stuff done. He forced the team to double-team, overcrowd that post area, and he was able to kick out and make great threes and passes and play out of the pick-and-roll. So I want him doing everything.”
Davis is averaging 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in two preseason games, shooting 48.1% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.
Davis ‘felt great’ in return against Warriors
Davis missed a couple of matchups with the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves due to a back issue. But the forward said he “felt great” being back on the floor, adding the back only bothered him slightly toward the end of the night.
“Preseason is used to get in shape, get in game shape, find that rhythm, and that’s what I tried to use it for. Use the things that I worked on all summer into these games, and it felt good,” Davis said.
“I do enough to get me ready to go for practices and games and then after that it’s just getting back to stretching and everything when practices are over or games are over.”
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