Already one of the league’s best players and an MVP candidate when healthy, Anthony Davis is heading into his age 26 season and looks to still have room for improvement. Davis has had his stellar career so far without much of a deep ball and while he has shown signs of improvement over the past two years, he still hasn’t ever been a consistent threat from beyond the arc.
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Anthony Davis Shows off New Step-Back 3-Pointer Ahead of Lakers’ Season
Davis seems to not only be working on refining his deep ball but seems to have added an entirely new weapon in a step-back three-pointer. Already possessing elite handles and athleticism, a consistent stepback three would force defenders to step up and guard Davis on the perimeter, allowing him more room to get by his man for an easy finish at the rim. Davis is already hyper-efficient around the rim and keeping defenders honest could make him potentially an even deadlier finisher near the hoop.
His improved shooting should also do wonders for new teammate LeBron James. Similar to Davis, James is an elite finisher near the hoop and Davis’ ability to step back and help space the floor should go a long ways towards helping James penetrate the interior of opposing defenses. Essentially, a viable three-point shot in his arsenal – especially a step back – opens up not only Davis’ game, but the game of the entire Lakers’ squad.
AD Trade to Lakers Gives LeBron James His Best Big Man
LeBron James has played with a number of talented big men during his time in the NBA. Starting with Chris Bosh in Miami before moving alongside Kevin Love in Cleveland, James’ talented big men typically have served as the third option – and floor spacing weapon – on the offensive end. Without a big 3 in place this time around, James is forced into playing more of a two-man game with his elite big man. In fact, should DeMarcus Cousins get back healthy, James could have two elite big men to play alongside – a look we haven’t seen so far in the NBA.
Aside from honing his three-point shot, Davis gives James an elite, multi-talented finisher around the rim and arguably the deadliest pick and roll weapon that James has ever played alongside. His athleticism should make him an incredibly deadly weapon in transition and his gravitational pull on the court should help open up valuable driving lanes for James to penetrate the interior of opposing defenses. While we have yet to see the pairing actually suit up in a game, on paper Davis looks to be a nearly perfect fit alongside James.
Especially with the new-look Lakers featuring much better three-point shooting to surround James and Davis, the floor spacing and room to operate should be there for both Davis and James. While it may take some time for the team to mesh together once the season starts, they should be able to put both Davis and James in optimal positions to take advantage of their unique skillsets.