While Anthony Davis obviously means a lot to the Los Angeles Lakers on the offensive side of the court, it is the defensive end where he is a generational talent. And that was on display in the Lakers’ one-point comeback win over the Indiana Pacers.
Davis hit an extremely difficult fadeaway to give the Lakers that one-point lead that they would hold on to. And then on the ensuing possession, he switched on to Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton and blocked his shot. Missed free throws kept the margin at just one point, but that possession was evidence of the difference Davis makes.
LeBron James spoke about that after the game, noting that the Lakers are always confident when Davis switches on to guards and praised the big man for his excellent play on Haliburton, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I mean AD can guard everyone in this league and we feel real confident when we start switching late game or we decide to go to a switch package that he can stay in front of guards. And then it’s our job on the weak side to keep the big off the glass and not lose track of shooters that may be relocating on drives. AD did a great job of being able to contain Haliburton, and get the block and save it.”
LeBron would continue on about Davis, calling his Lakers teammate a Defensive Player of the Year player every night he’s on the court:
“I mean he’s a defensive player of the year player every night. Confidence is extremely high when you know you have AD on the back line.”
Davis gives the Lakers an entirely different look on the defensive end. He is one of the league’s best shot blockers and alters even more attempts, but also has the ability to switch on perimeter players and stick with them as well. His presence allows the Lakers’ guards and wings to be more aggressive on the perimeter because Davis is there to erase things in the paint.
As LeBron added, it is on the rest of the Lakers to do their jobs on the weak side with rotations and boxing out bigs. But Davis takes the Lakers’ defense to a different level which keeps them in nearly every game.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis not concerned about not being named All-Star reserve
Despite being absolutely dominant earlier in the season, Davis’ injury ultimately cost him a spot as an All-Star this year as he was not selected as a reserve. But the Lakers big man is just fine with this.
When asked about it, Davis noted that his focus is on competing for championships while adding that his wife and kids are ecstatic about it with his significant other already texting him about a possible vacation.
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!