Nearly 10 months after publicly demanding a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis finally made his regular season debut in purple and gold. With an impressive preseason in the rearview mirror, Davis is looking to establish himself as the next great Laker big man and heir to the throne when LeBron inevitably calls it a career.
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Anthony Davis Finishes Through Contact for First Bucket as Laker [WATCH]
In typical Anthony Davis fashion, he got on the board early with his first bucket. After going to the line and hitting a pair of free throws for his first points, Davis had a beautiful finish through contact for his first basket. off to a hot start, Davis was a major reason the Lakers wound out jumping to a 13-6 lead to in the first five minutes of the game.
Davis also airballed a mid-range jump shot, though Laker fans seem to be more than willing to forgive his early blunder given the onslaught of production that followed to start the game. Making his presence felt early on both ends of the court, Davis and the Lakers sent an early message to their Staples Center roommates.
Anthony Davis Preseason Laker Stats
Despite suffering an injury scare to his thumb against the Nets, Anthony Davis had an extremely promising preseason for the Lakers. Davis averaged 13 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists to go with a steal and 1.5 blocks per game.
Over the course of the preseason, Davis showed his incredible versatility on the offensive end. With a plethora of shooters (and LeBron James) surrounding him, Davis looks much more comfortable passing out of the low post and piled up some impressive assist numbers early on. When called upon, Davis proved himself more than capable of taking over on offense and putting up an insane amount of points – he scored 17 in his first quarter against the Warriors.
Defensively, Davis has been as good as advertised. With Davis patrolling near the basket on help defense duty, teams are visibly timid to attack the rim. This allows the Lakers’ strong perimeter defenders (like Avery Bradley and Danny Green) to play even more aggressive on opposing ballhandlers knowing they have elite help behind them. With Davis and James together on the court, the Lakers had a +31 net rating as well as a defensive rating of 91.5 in Davis’ four preseason appearances.
While Davis’ numbers were down compared to previous preseasons with the Pelicans, he is no longer being asked to shoulder the entire offensive workload and instead tasked with learning to share that role and play off of another superstar in LeBron James. To James’ credit, Davis is far from the first superstar he’s shared a court with and his experience playing with other elite players seems to have eased the transition period. There are almost certainly still going to be growing pains but the duo seems to have gotten off to a strong start already.