On his day, there are very few players who can do the job of stopping Anthony Davis. Davis is a phenomenal player, who is physically gifted in ways very few other players are. Davis is almost 7'0" but is able to move and handle the ball like a point guard.
On top of that, AD uses his incredible size to help him rally his team on the defensive end of the court. Davis is a well-built, strong big who is adept at blocking shots and not letting players get to the rim. His defensive abilities play a big role on any team that he is a part of.
Now an NBA champion, the expectations have massively increased for Davis. But so far, the 8-time All-Star has not lived up to that expectation. The hope is that the significant amount of recovery time the Lakers had ahead of the new NBA season is enough time for him to get back in the groove.
And so far, Davis has looked a lot better than last season, scoring 20+ points in each of his three games so far. But against the Grizzlies, we saw AD turn up the levels on his defensive performance. On top of scoring 22 points, Davis had 8 rebounds and led the game in blocks with 4.
His performance was pivotal for the Lakers, as it allowed them to get their first win of the season. Lakers fans were very happy with his performance, as they were with Carmelo Anthony's. And Kyle Kuzma took to Twitter to point out his defensive excellence during the game, and how good he can be if he is in the zone.
"When AD tapped in nobody touching him defensively."
Going forward, the Lakers will need the best of AD. At just 28 years old, he is in the prime of his career and needs to put up these kinds of performances on a consistent basis in order to help the Lakers realize their championship potential.
Even prior to his calf strain injury last season, AD was struggling on the court, perhaps due to the Lakers' quick turnaround between the end of the 19-20 NBA season and the start of the 2020-21 NBA season. But with the amount of time he has had to recover and get in shape, there are no excuses for Davis to hide behind anymore.