While the Los Angeles Lakers signing LeBron James represented the start of their efforts to restore the franchise to its championship expectations, that didn’t truly become a reality until the Anthony Davis trade one year later.
Davis had a stellar first season in Los Angeles, proving to be the ideal superstar to pair with James in the backend of his career. Although Davis has firmly established himself in the league as a premiere player, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel believes his capabilities are limitless.
“The potential for Anthony Davis, there really is no ceiling with what he’s able to do. He has been very resilient playing through injuries for us this year,” Vogel recently said. “I think that’s been a big growth point for him. I think LeBron’s influence has weighed in there.
“If he stays healthy, the sky is the limit. He can dominate the game on the defensive end of the floor, on the perimeter, at the basket, rebounding. And then there’s nothing he can’t do offensively. Hopefully we continue to gel as a team and see him reach that potential.”
The 27-year-old dealt with a few nagging injuries over the course of the past season, but the time off allowed him to properly recover ahead of the NBA restart in Orlando.
When healthy, Davis has demonstrated that he is a top-five player in the NBA and is one of the rare big men capable of playing either small or big depending on the matchup.
Davis sees little difference in play between regular season and playoffs
For Davis, the regular season was a chance to show the basketball world that the Lakers were right to give up a haul to acquire him from the New Orleans Pelicans.
He averaged a team-leading 26.7 points to go along with 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, showing his dominance on both ends of the floor.
Of course, the one question mark was Davis had yet to truly make a mark in the postseason. Heading into the Lakers’ playoff run, Davis remarked that he didn’t believe there would be much change.
“I think obviously you’ve got to raise your level somewhat. I think everybody’s level raises in the postseason,” he said. “For me, I just try to take it up a notch, but I don’t think there’s a big discrepancy between in-season A.D. and postseason A.D.”
Davis wound up having heroic performances to help the Lakers capture their 17th title.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!