OKBET allsports : It would be ridiculous to suggest that we are now experiencing a new Anthony Davis because of recent events.
In solo performances, he has shown that he can win games by himself. We’ve seen him and his co-star completely derail the strategies of their opponents. He’s settled into his role as a solid secondary option behind an All-Star starter, and that duo should be at its best during the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run in 2020.
However, it’s probably not fair to claim that old Davis has returned. This newer edition seems like a cross between the original athletic wonder and a different mentality. Use whatever words you choose, but don’t forget to emphasize how foolish he’s been.
It wasn’t Davis’ fault that the Lakers lost to the Suns on Tuesday night, ending a three-game winning run. In this game, he did it all: 37 points, 21 boards, 5 steals, 5 blocks, and 2 assists. The Lakers outscored their opponents by 50 points during his 134 minutes of play, and his statistics during the four-game period were as follows: 35.5 points (64.9% from two, 92.0% from the free throw line on 12.5 attempts), 18.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.3 steals, and 2.5 blocks.
I am quite pleased by Davis’ method. It’s not like he’s only been making jump shots (though that certainly helps): during this four-game winning run, he’s made 53.3% of his shots from midcourt.
Getting him into the paint has been a major focus of his training. He can beat slower opponents to the ball by isolating, knocking them off balance, and then racing downhill. One of his go-to strategies against opponents of lesser stature is to take things slowly before unleashing a full-body assault. Second Spectrum data shows that throughout this current four-game span, AD has rolled on roughly 69% of his screens, up from 60% before this streak began.
The end effect is the same regardless of the opponent or the strategy: either high-quality shots or shooting fouls.
Davis’s play after the catch has been the most eye-catching aspect of his game for me. Davis used to get pushed off his place far too frequently after receiving a cross-screen intended to set up a post touch, resulting in his receiving the ball 15 feet (or beyond) from the basket. This would make it more difficult for him to assault, but not impossible. Davis would make matters worse by settling, catching, and holding before unleashing a jump shot that would disrupt the flow of the game.
Those kinds of situations haven’t occurred often recently. He fights to keep both feet within the paint even when he’s forced out. On Saturday’s game in Brooklyn, this became more noticeable.
Davis has a 6.5-foot season average from 3-point range. That’s the second-lowest total in his career, after only his rookie year (7.8 feet) when he tried just six threes all year.
Davis has cut down on his consumption of threes this season, with only 7.1% of his shots coming from beyond the arc. This is the first time he has shot at less than 10% from three-point range since the 2016–17 campaign. His two-point shooting average has also decreased, from 7.8 feet to 6 feet, according to PBP Stats.
Davis has also done a fantastic job on the receiving end. When guarding pick-and-rolls, the Lakers have him either drop deeper or come up to the level of the screen. Davis has shown that he is up for any challenge.
Davis had shown excellent balance in a drop, neither overly damaging the ball-area handler’s nor allowing the roller get behind him. When he’s on the court, he utilizes his height and length to block up passing lanes, but he’s also fast enough and can jump high enough to avoid being lobbed.
He is now winning the game of cat and mouse.
(It is important to note that the Lakers are currently through a rough patch. Without reliable screen navigation or prompt backup for screened-off defenders at the moment of attack, drop coverage is useless. When everyone is doing their weight, things run more smoothly as a whole.
While running a ball screen at Davis, opponents have scored only 0.8 points per possession (PPP) over the previous four games, an excellent figure that is not far off his season-wide record (0.85 PPP). When Davis is on the court, the rim rate (the proportion of shots taken near the basket) of opponent teams drops by 3.6%, putting them in the 86%th percentile, according to Cleaning The Glass.
Additionally, it is not usually successful when players attempt to finish around Davis’s rim. Over the previous four games, they have made just under 54% of their shots around the basket while facing Davis, which would place them sixth all season long among high-volume rim protectors (minimum 5.0 rim shots defended per game).
Expecting Davis to play at the MyCareer level (35 and 18) going forward is unrealistic. The Lakers’ calculations might shift if Davis really adopts this mentality of attacking the basket and the foul line with reckless abandon and the enthusiasm of a roving scavenger. When LeBron James returns to the lineup on Friday, it won’t be necessary for me to elaborate on the potential boost to their offense.