The only “Lob City” that Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond have been a part of as teammates so far are the parade of dunks happening at the rim when they share the floor, but Davis thinks that he and his new frontcourt partner could resemble the star-crossed Clippers pairing of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin as a duo when they start to get on the same page.
“When (Drummond) gets his legs back under him — which he says is almost there — and we really get him going, then it can kind of be like that Blake and DeAndre (pairing) that they had in L.A. a couple years back,” Davis said.
On it’s face, the comparisons are easy to see. Both players are large for the center and power forward position, and both are mobile and athletic for their size. Davis and Drummond certainly aren’t as upwardly bouncy as prime Griffin and Jordan were, but in terms of trying to make two larger players work alongside each other, it’s easy to see them working some of the same ways on the court.
The growing pains and tight confines the two will be dealing with while trying to form an effective duo will be similar, too. Sometimes this new reality manifests in the way defenses treat Drummond in order to pay more attention to Davis...
April 29, 2021
... and other times in how tight the space around the rim can be for both of them, like on Davis’ third turnover in the Lakers’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Davis drove to the rim, looking for Drummond, who kept moving and botched the catch.
It was a simple mistiming issue by two guys who haven’t played together since high school, the type of error that is just going to be part of their learning curve. Davis said Drummond came up to him afterwards and took responsibility, saying he should have stayed where he was.
“So a little miscommunication, but we’re going to figure it out. We’ve got 10 games left to try to figure it out before it has to be perfect,” Davis said.
He also credited Drummond for the positives he’s brought to the Lakers, particularly his rebounding that gets the Lakers extra possessions for the team. That will be a skill that will be even more valuable for them when LeBron James comes back, and Davis is confident that his co-star can unlock another level for Drummond on the floor.
“Bron is a great lob passer, so that pick and roll with him and Drum — I mean Bron is 6’8, so it’s an easier pass for him, more so than Dennis — and I think that, with Bron’s ability to come off and throw that lob, it will help Drum a lot. Or hit him with that pocket pass or drawing two to the ball and then the little dish off,” Davis said.
But as Davis pointed out, the Lakers aren’t 100% sure when James will return just yet, and for however much longer he’s out, they have to try and get Drummond integrated into what they’re trying to do, treating regular season games as glorified practices as they try to get on the same page. Davis said that he in particular has told Drummond to really attack opportunities for “early duck-ins” when he gets down the floor fast.
“We told him if he’s in the paint underneath the basket and he has a guy on him and has position just present himself and we’ve got to be able to find him. He played great for us tonight, got some good looks,” Davis said. “I think just having the full lineup where we can actually see what we’ve actually got will be beneficial for us, but until Bron is able to get back and we get 100% healthy, then we’ve still got to find ways to make him feel comfortable within our schemes on both ends of the floor.”
And for all the social media criticism and over-analysis, Drummond had 17 points on 8-11 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in just over 20 minutes against the Wizards. He’s been productive, and Davis is heartened by both the flashes he’s seen from their partnership so far, and what he thinks it could be moving forward.
“I think it’s going good. We’re continuously learning each other, figuring out where to be on the floor when the other one has the ball, and we’re getting better each game,” Davis said. “I like him alongside me.”
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