The Los Angeles Lakers made waves this offseason when they were finally able to lock down the long-awaited trade for Anthony Davis. While they lost heaps of young talent in the process, the Lakers are undoubtedly in a much better position to go out and contend for an NBA title compared to last season.
With the Lakers breaking camp over the weekend, we got our first look into just how good the superstar duo of LeBron James and Davis could actually be.
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Anthony Davis & LeBron James-led Squads Dominating Lakers’ Training Camp
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James have been getting some serious runtime together during the early stages of training camp. Not surprisingly, the superstar duo has been giving other five-man units absolute fits.
“We saw a mismatch in LeBron and Anthony’s team really sort of had their way with the other teams,” Vogel told ESPN. “We had three teams out there, and those guys really performed at a high level on both ends of the floor.”
However, the surprising star of training camp so far has been journeyman defender Avery Bradley. Bradley was once considered one of the league’s best defenders during his time on the Boston Celtics, though has struggled to live up to that reputation since leaving the Lakers’ arch-nemesis. However, Bradley claims to have dropped 40 pounds this offseason (though that seems slightly exaggerated) and looks to be in some of the best shape of his career.
“We’ve got two of the best players in the world competing together and all anybody’s talking about is Avery Bradley’s tenaciousness,” Vogel would go on to explain to ESPN. “That speaks volumes about what he’s been able to show in the first couple of days.”
Anthony Davis’ Fit Alongside New Lakers Teammates
Through two days, seeing such a promising fit already with James is extremely good news for Davis and Laker fans. While on paper the two look to be an excellent pairing, it takes time to build a rapport on the court. They still have yet to play serious minutes together, though it seems the offseason Space Jam 2 workouts have helped ease the transition slightly. The Lakers are loaded, though they will be vulnerable to frustrating losses until they learn to play as a collective unit. For this reason, the Lakers might run Rajon Rondo a bit more to start the season, seeing as the two have existing chemistry from their Pelicans days that has bled over into training camp.
From a defensive standpoint, Davis helps unlock an entirely different defensive look compared to years’ past. A transcendent talent on that end of the basketball, Davis has the ability to elevate the play of everyone around him by nature of his ability to quickly swoop in as an elite help defender and rim protector. The peace of mind that defenders have a second layer of defense behind them allows strong perimeter defenders like Danny Green and Avery Bradley to play more aggressively which in turn leads to more turnovers.