It’s hard to imagine there being questions about the core of LeBron James and Anthony Davis less than two years after the pair won a title together but after back-to-back seasons filled with frustration and failure, it’s not unfair to begin to wonder.
Any discussion on the matter would likely have to center on their availability, which has been a problem each of the last two seasons. LeBron has only played 110 of a possible 154 games while AD has only played 76 games. In that span, they’ve only shared the court for 49 games in that span.
From a talent aspect, the two are unquestionably still effective and dynamic together. In her recent interview with Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss discussed whether the pairing could still win together.
Besides, she believes the Lakers can win another championship with James and Anthony Davis as their cornerstones.
“There’s no reason for me to think we can’t win with them,” she said. “Something that I learned from Phil Jackson is that there’s always a path to success. … Sometimes it might be a little bit harder than other times, … but you have to see the ability.”
Now, it should be noted that Plaschke most likely wasn’t coming at this with quite as much good faith as the argument made above. While appearing on Doug Gottlieb’s radio show after this interview with Buss was published, Plaschke made it clear he did not think LeBron and AD could win together while also “reporting” that Phil Jackson would prefer to trade LeBron and keep Russell Westbrook.
That aside, the questions about whether LeBron and AD and whether you can win with them should only focus on their injury history. If the pair can get healthy this summer and remain healthy during the season, then the Lakers will be competitive once again. Again, little more than two years ago, this pair led the Lakers to an NBA title. There should be no question that they can get it done on the court together.
Now, the extent of their competitiveness will vary depending on the pieces around them, but there is still no question that the dynamic pairing of two of the most unique players in the league is enough to still win at a high level.