Anthony Davis has been all that Los Angeles Lakers fans could hope for on both ends of the court. On offense, his shot has started to come around and defensively, well, just let LeBron James tell you about his defense.
There have been games in which Davis absolutely dominated from start to finish, and then there have been games where he’s stepped aside and let someone else drive the offense — something you’d almost expect seeing as he’s playing alongside James.
Davis was asked at shootaround before Tuesday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder about the role he plays on offense, and Frank Vogel’s admission that he has to do a better job of getting Davis easier looks at the basket. Davis downplayed it, citing the success the Lakers have had this season.
“I’m very comfortable. We’re winning,” Davis told reporters. “I’ve got to constantly just find ways to get myself open and get some easy looks, but everybody is playing well. Everybody is playing their part and doing their role. And that’s all we can ask for.”
To a certain extent, Davis is obviously right. Still, this team is only going to go as far as he and James are going to take it, so at some point getting him better looks has to be prioritized. Still, Davis isn’t going to force anything that isn’t there.
“I’ve found ways to get myself going, but I’m never going to be the one to try to force it. Come and shoot 30 shots just to try and get going. I like to play within our offense,” Davis explained.
“As long as we’re winning I’m fine. I don’t really care much about stats. I care about winning.”
Davis’ response here is obviously technically the right answer to give. At the end of the day, all that matters is that the Lakers keep winning. But again, the Lakers’ best chance at winning has a lot to do with Davis’ production, so while he has the correct approach here, it is on Frank Vogel and the coaching staff to figure out ways to get him better looks.
How they’ll do that was made fairly obvious against OKC, when David and James appeared to run by far the most pick-and-roll sets together than they have all season. It’s one of the toughest sets in all of basketball to guard, and will almost always result in an open look for either James, Davis or one of their teammates. Combine that with him moving more when he doesn’t have the ball, and he becomes endlessly tougher to guard than when he is more stationary and just waiting for his next post opportunity.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the course of the season, but at the end of the day, it’s great that the Lakers are still winning while they work out these kinks.