Anthony Davis‘ defensive woes on Lakers Rotations are not because he’s a terrible defender but rather a casualty of circumstance. Individually Anthony Davis is a very good 2-way basketball player and well rounded for his size. The problem is with the situations Lakers rotation find themselves in on a nightly basis.
This article is inspired mainly by a response I was mounting for a tweet by a seemingly frustrated LakersSpin ;-
Multiple people have now told me the Lakers are better on defense without AD….
I fuckin give up man. Yall win. Hes trash. Trade him for Bol Bol and a Bol of soup.
— LakersSpin (@LakersSpin) December 17, 2021
In fact, also another friend of mine with whom we’ve had numerous conversations and disagreements regarding Anthony Davis and Lebron James shared his frustration to the same concern;-
No serious @Lakers fan can mention AD in any trade discussion. That isn’t right at all levels. Guys it’s Anthony Davis not Andre Drummond ffs.
AD still averaging over 24 pts, 10 rebounds per game besides some solid defensive numbers and y’all here shamlessly talking trades?
— Corsa #7 (@fobita) December 15, 2021
And I entirely sympathise with them and agree, this level of disrespect and slander to Anthony Davis is completely outrageous. People forget that Davis was once a guard in high school before the growth spurt. Such sudden changes slightly affect adjustments with players who don’t rely very much on high IQ to excel. Simply Put, Anthony Davis is one hell of a generational player, so let’s put some respect to his name.
Charles Barkley believes Anthony Davis needs to be great in order for this Lakers team to succeed.
Is he right, or can LeBron James and co. win it all with an average AD? pic.twitter.com/QSw5hpUiF3
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 8, 2021
The problem at hand.
Although the notion of Anthony being a bad defender is hard to comprehend, this is actually possible. In fact, I think he’s facing something similar to Kawhi Leonard‘s tenure with the San Antonio Spur. But before I continue allow me to point out that in arguments involving NBA Fans, All opinions often have biases.
From what I managed to gather as far as Kawhi was concerned, coverages were terrible when he was on the court as the team expected him to make a defensive stop. The same thing is happening to AD. Having noticed this I did go on to do some search and landed on the article;- Kawhi Leonard is so great at defense, he’s actually hurting the Spurs by By Matt Moore published on Dec 13, 2016, at 11:03 am ET.
Except for Lebron James, most Lakers defenders never seem to chase down on blocks or make high IQ defensive stops. In fact, in most cases when AD doesn’t attempt to shot block, the opponent will likely get an open look at the rim weakly contested or even uncontested. Nonetheless, players like Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker and Austin Reaves, at the time of writing this article deserve special recognition for their defense so far.
In Spurs, on the occasions Kawhi didn’t step up to a defender or make a steal expecting a teammate to cover for him, the opponent would score because his teammates were also expecting Kawhi to make the defensive stop.
All in all, it’s not like these 2 players are defensively bad but rather need to be on team rotations where 2 or more players match their defensive effort at all times just like Kawhi on Raptors or Clippers.
For a lakers rotation to flourish defensively with AD, Lebron has to be the weakest defender at the time. And this is not because Lebron is a bad defender but because of his age and cherry-picking tendencies. Lebron’s defence is noticeable when games are on the line or in the playoff. He’s also been noted to shut down the other team’s best player when he chooses to. Not to mention, even in year 19, he’s still very valuable offensively unlike most veterans his age currently and in the past.