During preseason, minutes where LeBron James shared the court with Anthony Davis looked borderline unfair. The Los Angeles Lakers dominated in ways that highlighted exactly why they’re considered the league’s most dynamic duo.
That wasn’t the case in the team’s season-opening loss to the Clippers, though, and both addressed the work in progress that is their shared chemistry.
”For us, we’re both aggressive. So sometimes we kind of miss each other. I missed him a couple times and he missed me, so we’re just trying to figure it out,” Davis told reporters after the game, adding that both he and James are still getting a sense for where everyone else will be when they draw a double team.
“We’re still learning. Like I said, it’s game one of many so we’ll all look at the film to see where we can better at and then work on it in practice and be ready for the next game.”
Fortunately for Davis and the Lakers, they’ll have a couple days to work on things before their next game — a tough matchup with the Utah Jazz.
James downplayed how long he thinks it will take for him and Davis to get on the same page, and welcomed the challenges the Clippers offered up.
”I don’t think it’s much of a process. Obviously (our) offense is going to continue to get better and better on how we can get AD in a proper position for him to be effective (and) how as a team we all can be effective as well, and we showed that tonight. There were times where we were great, there were times where we could be a lot better. Especially for me being a point guard, being able to put guys in position and also putting myself in position to to be aggressive at times,” James said.
“We’ll look at more film and, like I said, it was a great test, as far as us on how we can be better.”
After losses like last night, sometimes, athletes will disagree with a premise just because they feel like disagreeing but then wind up agreeing with the premise. That’s basically what you have here, with James essentially saying no, I don’t think this is much of a process. This is more of a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. Sure thing, ‘Bron. The fourth quarter fumbles apparently continued after the game.
In reality, of course it’s going to be a process. Yes, James played with somewhat similar players in Chris Bosh and Kevin Love, but Davis is a different level of talent than even Bosh and Love, who both were key pieces to championship teams.
One thing that really stuck out last night was that James and Davis — who had spent the majority of preseason working off of each other in the pick-and-roll — fell into a pretty bad habit of basically taking turns in the post. Doing so lets teams off the hook for having to defend what should be one of the toughest plays in all of basketball.
Some of that was matchup-based, as the Lakers probably looked at Patrick Beverley guarding James and, well, anyone guarding Davis and figured they had to take advantage of those plays, but just throwing the ball into the post and having everyone stand around is a really ineffective way of doing so.
Still, this was just one game, and James and Davis — and the rest of the team — will eventually all get on the same page. This stuff takes time, and likely will be a bit of a process, even if James doesn’t think so.
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