For the past 7 years, Anthony Davis has dominated the basketball floor. As a 6-10, 250 pound superstar, he has all the skills you'd want a big man to have in today's NBA. He can score in the post, from the perimeter, and even at the free-throw line, where he makes about 80% of his shots.
But this season, Davis is showing the world that his game is more than an offensive one. He can play lockdown defense, too, and his teammate Danny Green agrees.
“He’s been the Defensive Player of the Year. Hands down,” Green told Erik Garcia Gundersen of LeBron Wire. He’s led by his actions, by his vocal, by his communication. His standards for everybody and for ‘Bron. He’s the reason why you see ‘Bron out there scrambling and hustling, doing all the things that he’s been doing. He’s been pushing him on that end of the floor. We all have, but those two have a special relationship.
“AD has been leading by example and with his words and what he’s done vocally. That’s why our defense has been so great thus far. We want to try and be better for the full 48, but he’s the foundation of our defense.”
Anthony Davis currently leads the league in blocks, with an average of 2.8 per game. His 1.5 steals per game is also among the highest for NBA bigs. As a team, the Lakers are top 10 in opponent field goal percentage, opponent 3-point field goal percentage, 3rd lowest in opponent points allowed per game, and 1st in blocks with an NBA-hight 7.3 swats per game.
Compare those numbers to last year, and there's an obvious difference. Love it or hate it, the addition of AD and his dedication to defense is likely the biggest part of that difference.