The Lakers acquisition of Russell Westbrook forced Rob Pelinka to put minimal pieces around the new “Big 3” in LA.
These pieces consisted of wings like Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, and Malik Monk.
The Lakers best defender on the perimeter is LeBron James but with his age and mileage in his 19th season, it’s asking a lot for James to defend at a high level every night.
This means that Anthony Davis will have to raise his game to another level next season.
Anthony Davis is a defensive monster, especially when it comes to protecting the rim. Davis has 3 seasons leading the league in blocks. Davis for his career averages 2.3 BPG per basketball-reference.com. The Lakers wing players are much older outside of Malik Monk and with the league having so many scorers on the perimeter, the Lakers could be in trouble defensively. Anthony Davis must stay healthy throughout the season and lead this team on the defensive end.
Anthony Davis’s numbers went down across the board last season. He went from 26.1 PPG in 2020 to just 21.8 PPG in 2021. He went from 2.3 BPG to 1.6 BPG. Free throw percentage dropped 11 percent from 2020. Davis clearly wasn’t healthy for most of the season but his impact on the floor wasn’t dominant like he was in 2020. The addition of Russell Westbrook should help Davis the most because of how frequently Westbrook attacks off screen and roll.
In order for the Lakers to be the team that they want to be, Anthony Davis has to dominate on both ends of the floor. At this point, Davis should be the leading scorer on the team and the leading rebounder.
Anthony Davis is a weapon that most teams cannot handle because of his versatility in the paint and on the perimeter. The DPOY award should be what Anthony Davis is striving for in the 2021-22 season.
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