Coming into the season, it was unclear which of the Big 3 would be leading the Los Angeles Lakers in scoring, but so far it has been big man Anthony Davis leading the charge at 25 points per game.
His strong start to the season continued on Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets as Davis filled the box score with 27 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in the Lakers’ win.
One area where Davis has struggled so far this season, however, has been with his 3-point shooting. Davis was 0-for-3 on Tuesday and is shooting just 15% from deep to start the year. The big man has never been a lights-out shooter, but Davis has always been respectable enough to where teams must guard him out there, thus opening up the rest of his game.
But Lakers head coach Frank Vogel isn’t concerned with Davis’ slow start from the perimeter and is actually pushing him to keep shooting.
“AD is AD, just a lot of garbage points, a lot of runs to the basket,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ victory over the Rockets. “We’re encouraging him to stay with the 3-point shot and keep shooting those without hesitation. He’s off to a slow start shooting the ball from three, but that’s going to come around from him and he’s gonna have an even bigger night.”
Davis’ ability from the perimeter is absolutely crucial for this Lakers team, which needs to be able to open up the paint so that Russell Westbrook and LeBron James can attack the paint at will. Obviously Davis should primarily dominate the paint, but being able to step outside is what makes him truly special.
Things haven’t started off well for Davis, but he has shown he is more than capable of getting hot from the perimeter and Vogel and the rest of the Lakers coaching staff are right to encourage him to keep getting those shots up. Once those start dropping, Davis will become even more unstoppable.
Vogel expects sacrifice from big men after Davis starts at center
One change that has come over the last couple of games for Davis and the Lakers is him starting at center. With Dwight Howard out, Vogel elected to make the change and move DeAndre Jordan to a bench role. While Vogel doesn’t expect this new lineup to remain the norm, he made it clear that sacrifice is necessary and the Laker big men understand that.
“They know that we’ve been our best over the last couple of years being a hybrid unit,” Vogel said of his centers. “Sometimes AD plays the five, sometimes he’s at the four. They both knew that when they signed here and the whole mindset of our whole group is we’re trying to win a championship this year and whatever sacrifice is required, everybody is all in.
“So it is one of those things I’ll say that this is just something that we’re looking at right now, but we do intend to start big again soon.”
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