Anthony Davis described the Los Angeles Lakers as “way behind” from where the team needs to be when the regular season tips off on October 19th. After the Lakers’ blowout loss against the Nets in the team’s first preseason game, Davis ran down a list of things that the team needs to improve upon, including boxing out for rebounds.
“We’re way behind, getting movement on offense, quality shots,” Davis told reporters on October 4. “Defensively, talking, getting our schemes right. Rebounding [is] very huge, we’re not boxing out and that was the main takeaway. Just offensively, we’re not really too worried about it, especially when we get Bron, Melo, T.A. [Trevor Ariza], Russ out there. But it was just [the] first game to see where we are and we [have] to do a better job defensively, especially blocking out.”
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With the Lakers’ Roster Additions, A.D. Plans to Play More Center
One of the key changes for the Lakers this season will be Davis playing more center. It is still unclear if Davis will start at center, but the big man admitted he plans to spend more time at the five as a result of the Lakers’ offseason moves.
“There was the expectation and that was discussed, and I expect to play center,” Davis said, per Silver Screen and Roll. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Me and (head coach) Frank (Vogel) talked about it a couple of times and that’s the plan. Right now, nothing is set in stone but we want to see what that looks like, and I’m comfortable with that.
“Obviously, there’s times where Dwight (Howard) or (DeAndre Jordan) might get the start at center depending on games, but for the most part, I think the plan is to go with me playing center.”
The Lakers Plan to Have a Rotation at Center of Davis, Howard and Jordan
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel outlined a rotation of Davis, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan at center. The Lakers coach admitted there could be lineups where the team goes small and plays without a center on the floor.
“We do anticipate most of the time having either A.D., Dwight or DeAndre in there,” Vogel explained on October 2nd. “We have talked about playing some centerless lineups this year but for the most part, one of those guys will be in there. And again, striking the right balance with A.D. playing with one of those guys or as the center will be something we’ll evaluate throughout the year, but we’ll find that balance.”
Davis received a lot of criticism last season for his inability to stay healthy during the 2020-21 season. The star big man played in just 36 regular-season games, but LeBron James believes opponents will see an “angry” Davis in 2021.
“A lot of people go through the summer and they like post their workouts and post their training and post everything that they’re doing,” James told Spectrum Sportsnet. “If [there] was one guy that you did not see this summer until he got married last week, it was Anthony Davis. But I knew everything that he was doing, putting in the work both in the weight room and also on the court. And he’s determined to, it’s not even about proving people wrong, it’s about proving himself right because [of] what he can bring to the table, and he’s one of the best players that we have in this league, and I’m looking forward to a very angry Anthony Davis. The Anthony Davis that I’m looking forward to seeing this year, it would be the equivalent of if the Green Bay Packers lost on a Sunday. You know how angry [he] would be, so I’m looking forward to that one.”