Anthony Davis hasn’t been the most consistent player in the NBA seeding games but he’s still shown flashes of what makes him one of the ten best players in the world. With the playoffs closing in, the Los Angeles Lakers big man should be able to regain some consistency in his game.
The team will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and there’s a really good shot the Lakers would see the Houston Rockets in the second round. The Rockets play a lot of “small ball” which could create problems for them if they face Los Angeles. They have no player who could feasibly slow down Davis. However, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni knows they can’t stop him and doesn’t seem too concerned about it.
“A lot of people have guarded [Davis]. It hasn’t worked,” D’Antoni said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I don’t care who guards him. He’s still going to be Anthony Davis. We’re not going to all of a sudden turn him into a pedestrian player.”
Those pretty honest words from D’Antoni but he’s not entirely wrong. Davis put up over 40 points on Rudy Gobert recently, who is the defending Defensive Player of the Year. When Davis is in a rhythm, he’s one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA. The Rockets aren’t going to stop them if the two teams play, they’re just going to have to outscore him.
Will Davis Be More Consistent in the Playoffs?
There’s no doubt Davis is one of the best players in the league but his play has been very uneven in the bubble. He had excellent games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz but was nonexistent against the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. He was also underwhelming against the Rockets in their matchup.
Once the playoffs start, the Lakers can’t have Davis put up less 15 points in multiple games. LeBron James is a stud in the playoffs but he can’t do everything on his own. Davis will need to be a superstar on a consistent basis. Despite the idea that he’s not clutch, the big man has actually been very good in the playoffs in the past. Now that the Lakers will be playing games that matter, Davis should return to form quickly.
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Lakers Not Overlooking Blazers
Though it would be easy for the Lakers to overlook the eighth seed in the first round of the playoffs, the Blazers aren’t a normal eighth seed. Damian Lillard has been playing out of his mind and the team is really hot. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel noticed that his team seemed switched gears once their first-round playoff opponent was finalized.
“Seriousness and the level of detail attentiveness,” Vogel said. “The communication in our film session — it’s not just the coaches presenting a plan. There’s a lot of questions, there’s a lot of ‘let’s get clear and on the same page,’ pointing out different aspects of what we’re showing. Those types of things.”
The Blazers are definitely not a team the Lakers can overlook. They’ve worked really hard to get where they’re at and won’t go down without a fight.