Anthony Davis is playing solid basketball right now.
In fact, he is a fantasy basketball player’s dream.
For those keeping score at home: Through 12 games, the Lakers big man is averaging 24.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.2 blocks.
Baskin Robins’ 31 Flavors should beware! Davis’ arsenal of moves have been on full display in the City of Angels: face-up, back to the basket, pump fake with counters, 16-foot jumpers, spin moves and three pointers are all winning.
Currently sitting at 11-2, the Los Angeles Lakers are in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference. LA also has the best record in the National Basketball Association.
Playing alongside LeBron James, you can see why. “Watching LBJ right now is like watching Picasso paint & Tiger Woods win major after major in his prime,” TJ Kidd, son of Lakers assistant coach, Jason Kidd told me Sunday evening.
“He is so under-appreciated while he’s doing it. He’s taken for granted. It’s just so much fun to witness.”
You can see why. In the Lakers’ win Sunday night against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center, James’ statline was something to write home about: 33 points (13/21 FGs), 12 assists, 7 rebounds in the 122-101 victory.
Davis told me that the Lakers are unstoppable because he and LeBron James have found cohesion early on. “I didn’t think we were going to be able to connect as fast,” Anthony Davis told me recently.
“Just because of the fact, he had a lot of stuff going on in the summer with Space Jam. So we didn’t get a lot of time to work out together. And then we had a short training camp, had to go to China and all of that stuff. So, I’m surprised that he had a little connection right now.”He [LeBron James] made a joke [and said]: ‘We’re not peanut butter and jelly right now, we’re like peanut butter and bananas.’ So we’re getting there. We’re constantly getting there game by game.”
Sounds about right.
Thomas, a former Los Angeles Clippers forward was the seventh pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and played 12 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Clippers.
He averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.
“You got inside outside,” Thomas said of James and Davis.
“You got a person that can play all over the floor and then you got someone that can really dominate the inside or the low post. I mean every team has 2 superstars. The most teams that won the most championships had 2 superstars so I don’t see any hole there”
Million Dollar Question: Who does Anthony Davis play like?
“I would say a little Tim Duncan,” said a thoughtful Thomas.
“But a little bit more athletic. Shoots the 3-ball a little bit. Tim was just so solid and AD has spent his whole career being so solid.”
That’s high praise. A 15-time NBA All Star, Duncan is one of the best power forwards to play in the NBA. He’s won five NBA championships, was named an NBA Finals MVP three times and won the NBA’s regular season MVP award twice.
The 7-footer was also named to the NBA’s All-NBA First Team ten times.
Comparatively Davis, 26, has been selected to three All-NBA First Teams and has one All NBA Defensive-First Team selections. Davis entered this season with career averages of 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and nearly 3 blocks.
The NBA All Star says that his only goal this season is to win an NBA Championship. “That’s the main goal,” he told me in September.
“That’s our goal and we are going to come in with the mindset that we’re all thinking: ‘This is the year!”