Heading into the 2019-2020 season, Anthony Davis has some high hopes for both himself and his Lakers teammates. LeBron James, in particular, seems to be someone The Brow intends to hold accountable on the defensive end. Davis shared the specifics of his vision for the Lakers with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Anthony Davis Shares Goal for Lakers Teammate LeBron James
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron, accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night. I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team. And for me personally, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year. If we’re able to hold teams under 100 [points], which is probably unrealistic but it should be our goal, I think we’ll have a shot at winning the title.”
While Davis has lofty goals for both himself and the Lakers as a defensive unit, he is hoping LeBron is able to do something he hasn’t accomplished since 2014 with the Miami Heat. Last finishing on the NBA’s second All-Defensive Team, James’ defense has slowly fallen off over the past few seasons as he finds himself getting older. With a limited amount of energy to expend on the court and worse defensive teams surrounding him, James hasn’t been the dominant two-way force that made the Heat’s grit and grind scheme click.
Should the Lakers find both Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the NBA’s All-Defensive team lists at the end of the season, there is a good chance the Lakers find themselves at the top of the Western Conference when the season is all said and done.
Lakers Defensive Areas for Concern
One of the biggest question marks for the Lakers comes in the form of Dwight Howard. Howard barely saw the court last season and his previous season in Los Angeles didn’t necessarily go as planned. The Lakers desperately need Howard to help shoulder the load at center and seem to be relying on him to serve as an interior stopper against dominant big men like Joel Embiid. While McGee is undoubtedly a servicable big man, he doesn’t offer the strength or size to consistently give interior bruisers trouble.
Another area worth keeping an eye on is how the Lakers opt to handle their point guard situation. The Lakers have a host of perimeter defenders on their bench – though none check the box as a true point guard. Rajon Rondo looks to be the popular choice to start the season drawing the Lion’s share of the minutes at the point. Though despite his stellar defensive IQ, his body hasn’t been able to produce the same sort of defensive excellence that he was known for in his younger years.
Surrounded with fresh talent, including a former teammate in Anthony Davis, Rondo could be in line for a strong bounce-back year on the defensive side – something that would do wonders for the Lakers’ team defense.