It has been said that while LeBron James is the Lakers' most valuable player, Anthony Davis is the most important. The 28-year-old big man, who helped lead the Lakers to a title in 2020, is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the league.
But this season, somebody really oughta tell him to stay in the paint.
Per ESPN analyst Kirk Goldsberry, AD is shooting an abysmal 33% on jump shots this season, which marks dead last out of 56 players who have attempted at least 150 jumpers.
Statistically, Davis is actually having a pretty efficient year overall, with averages of 24.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game on 51% shooting.
The glaring difference? he's shooting just 16% from three, by far the lowest mark of his career.
On the flip side, the Lakers do have a player in the upper end of the shooting efficiency category: Carmelo Anthony, who averages 1.19 points per shot.
It's still early in the season, but guys like Steph, Seth, Patty Mills, and Grayson Allen are the example of premier jump shooters, and it's no coincidence that many of those players are on title contending teams.
Going back to Davis, trying to get him to play on the interior has been an ongoing mission for Laker Nation since 2019. James Worthy said it best back in October:
If I were AD, I would live in that paint. I would start... my first 10 shots would be in the paint... Take my time, make some willing passes. That's where it is.
Out there, 12 feet, you're trying to go 1 on 1 after no movement, shooting fadeaway jumpers... To me, I just think he's our 5.
He's the guy that needs to go down in there, get damn nasty, and do it every night. Until the team just can't take it anymore... when you see the way you're being punked in the paint, someone's gotta take care of it, and he's the guy to do it.
We saw back in 2020 what the Lakers could be with Anthony Davis at his best. He was dominant in every sense of the word and did everything the team needed in order for them to win.
But since that title run, AD hasn't quite been the same. Whether it's injuries or a lack of intensity on the floor, he's missing that energy he had during his first season as a Laker.
And if the team ever wants to hoist the Larry O'Brien again, they're going to need Davis at the top of his game.