There are a lot of issues with this season’s Los Angeles Lakers. Injuries, lack of shooting, lack of defense, and lack of good coaching are all things people look at when talking about how disappointing they have been this season. Oh, and people love to point the finger at Russell Westbrook, even though he has picked up his play recently. However, no one really talks about the main issue. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, this is the main reason the Lakers are struggling: the poor play of star Anthony Davis.
Remember Anthony Davis during the Lakers championship run in 2020? He was one of the most dominant players in the NBA, and played with physicality we did not really see from him before. His elite performance during that run was one of the main reasons the Lakers won the championship. That was the last time Anthony Davis played like a top 5 NBA player. That is the last time Anthony Davis looked motivated to win. It has been all downhill for Davis ever since that magical run. While Davis was often injured last season, he still did not perform up to snuff when he was healthy. He averaged his lowest PPG since his second year in the league and averaged a porous 8 rebounds a game. He also had his lowest field goal percentage since 2015 and shot just 26% from three-point range. While Davis has picked it up a little bit this year, Davis has also regressed on the defensive end. He is allowing a 47% field goal percentage to opposing players, and recently against the Timberwolves, he could not slow down Karl Anthony Towns. While Davis got injured in the 3rd quarter of that game, the lack of defensive intensity was very noticeable. He left the game with nine points and one rebound on 4/7 shooting in 20 minutes. That is unacceptable. One rebound in 20 minutes? Are you kidding me?
The bottom line is this: Davis is a top 5 NBA talent. He has shown that before. He is supposed to carry the Lakers alongside LeBron James. He has not played like it. Anthony Davis needs to wake up and start playing motivated basketball. Ever since he got his ring, he has not been the same player. You don’t see the same hunger from him anymore, and that needs to change. If the Lakers want to turn their season around, it starts with Davis playing like a top 5 NBA player. If he doesn’t, then the Lakers can kiss all championship hopes goodbye.
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