Anthony Davis has been nothing short of amazing in his first playoff run with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Through 11 games, the 27-year-old superstar has averaged 28.5 points per game on 58.4% shooting from the field, in addition to 10.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and a steal per game. He’s averaged more points per game in the playoffs before, but he’s never been as efficient or impactful in the postseason as he’s been this year — few people have.
But “amazing” isn’t been good enough for Davis. He’s been amazing before, and his teams have lost. Instead, Davis told Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register he wants to be flawless, or at least as close as he can get to it:
“When I’m playing, I’m a perfectionist,” Davis told Southern California News Group. “I want to make every shot, make every play defensively, I want to be in the right spots. That game, I just wasn’t … I just happened to be bleeding.”
Davis isn’t the only player on the Lakers’ roster that’s a bit of a perfectionist. His teammate LeBron James has made a career out of playing “the right way,” and it’s often made him the subject of heavy scrutiny.
For that reason, James tries to keep things in perspective for Davis:
“It’s a guy who strives for perfection and wants to be great — I know,” he told SCNG of that moment. “Anytime you see someone like that may be getting down on themselves or feel like they can be so much better, it’s great to just, you know, breathe. Just breathe, take a deep breath, center yourself and get back to work.”
It obviously doesn’t take much to find the value in having James as your teammate, but James’ championship experience and sheer level of superstardom has been valuable to Davis specifically. It’s probably not too big of a stretch to say James is the best teammate Davis has ever had.
Whether or not Davis is the best teammate James has ever had will depend on how this playoff run ends, but he’s made a pretty compelling case so far. Regardless, it’s clear that James and Davis complement each other well, both on and off the floor. Let’s hope Davis values that enough for him to want to stick around for a few more years.
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