The Los Angeles Lakers look like they’ve finally figured things out and are now starting to play like the championship contenders they said they were before the season began.
Of course, Anthony Davis’ incredible level of play has had a major impact on the team’s fortunes, and suddenly, the superstar forward looks like a genuine MVP candidate as the Lakers’ primary offensive option.
When speaking to the media on December 4, in his post-game press conference following the Lakers’ 130-119 victory over the Washington Wizards, Ham discussed Davis’ current mindset and why it’s beneficial to the entire roster.
“I’ve been putting AD’s name on it, since day one. And it does help Bron, it allows him to be more efficient with his energy, more efficient with his workload. There are times where again, we can go through AD and just feed AD, feed AD, feed AD, and we’re not worried about LeBron having to be a world-beater or trying to make plays through three or four people. And Russ is in the same boat, allowing him to be able to play more freer.
AD, he wants it. He wants to be that guy. He wants to be the guy for the team. And, I think it’s beautiful to watch because his teammates, they’re encouraging him, they’re trying to give him the ball,” Ham said.
Against the Wizards, Davis ended the contest with a breathtaking 55 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks, and one assist while shooting 73.3% from the field on 22-of-30 shooting, including two-of-three from deep.
Keith Smith Discussed Advantages for LeBron
During a November 22 episode of Heavy on Sports Postin’ Up With Keith Smith and Adam Taylor Podcast, Smith discussed the upside to LeBron accepting a secondary role behind Davis, noting that it could be the ideal situation for the aging superstar.
“I think the Lakers if they wanna be the team they wanna be, not just this year, but over the next couple of years, LeBron has to start to ‘alright, this is AD’s team now,’ and start to take that step back. And then, he can still be LeBron when you need him to be. But, the important part will be, if you only need him to be LeBron once outta every four or five games, that’s better than him trying to be old-school LeBron, two, three, four nights out of four. That’s where I think, you’ve gotta really let him start to use AD,” Smith said.
Over 16 games this season, LeBron, 37, is averaging 26.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 46.6% from the field and 33.1% from deep. Given LeBron’s age and his ability to operate as a playmaker from anywhere on the court, asking him to become a pass-first point forward could be a move that adds a year or two to his illustrious career.
LeBron’s Willing to Accept New Role
“We won a championship together. I think this is what, year four for us? I think, Maybe? I don’t need to have a talk with AD about if I come back you need to defer. No. AD be AD, and we’ll figure it out around him. I’ll figure it out, I’m ok with that, and I can do that. But, we’re gonna keep the ball in AD’s hands, and when he’s rebounding like he did tonight, he’s blocking shots, super engaged. It’s our job as a lot of the ball handlers, mine, Dias, Austin, Russ, to get him the ball, and we did that tonight,” LeBron said.
The Lakers have won five of their last six games and will be back in action on December 6 when they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers.