Los Angeles Lakers: Could Anthony Davis elevate the team’s defense?

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis(Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
NBA Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis(Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images) /

Will the addition of Anthony Davis be enough to elevate the Los Angeles Lakers’ defense to championship-caliber in 2019-20? 

After coming off a disappointing 2018-19 season, suiting up for only 56 games, Anthony Davis is still arguably the best big man in the league. The talented Davis has big plans this season and wants everybody to know that he can continue his success with the Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps on the biggest stage in the NBA.

Though, the 26-year-old did suffer somewhat of a setback over the weekend, when he injured his thumb in a preseason game in China. The good news is that his MRI returned clean, and he’s now considered day-to-day. The hope is that he will be ready to go when the Lakers open the regular season against the Clippers next week.

Any NBA team would love to have a player like Anthony Davis on their roster. His ability to block shots, rebound, and shoot from anywhere on the court is extremely valuable in today’s NBA. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Davis noted that he wanted to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award and an All-Defensive Team as well.

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Hopes are high in Los Angeles, as Davis thinks that the Lakers have what it takes to win their 17th NBA championship. Davis has played three games this preseason averaging 14.7 points, five rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game, while also shooting 45 percent from the field.

LeBron James has to be excited to have a second star-caliber player on the Lakers. James’ and Davis’ combined dedication to success could give the already dangerous Lakers team the extra edge they need to put them in serious contention.

The Lakers have been stuck in the middle of the pack in terms of defensive play. They allowed 113.5 points per game and were 21st last season in that category. The signing of Anthony Davis combined with the addition of Danny Green and Avery Bradley will be a huge boost for the Lakers and help them breakthrough from the middle of the pack to the top. These acquisitions to the Lakers roster will put Anthony Davis at the heart of the Lakers’ defense.

Now that the Lakers have acquired some help on the defensive end, they can show that their defense can improve throughout a long 82-game season. The loss of DeMarcus Cousins to a torn ACL was very unfortunate because of what he could present on both ends of the floor, but I believe the Lakers did a great job of acquiring Dwight Howard to fill in Cousins’ spot on the roster.

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Although there are many questions to Howard’s ability to defend as he did in years past, I think he still has some good years left in the tank. The Lakers open up their 72nd season on Oct. 22nd when they take on their in-city rivals at Staples Center.