The Los Angeles Lakers have regrouped with a stronger squad in 2021. LeBron James is the best overall player in the NBA, and his leadership and basketball I.Q. was the main reason the Lakers lifted the trophy at the end of last year. As great as LeBron James was and is, Anthony Davis needs to take a bigger role for the Lakers this year. Davis led the Lakers in scoring last year, and he must continue his dominance this season.
Most importantly, Davis must take the next step and play like the MVP of the league. Anthony Davis needs to dominate both ends of the floor every game, be vocal on the court and in the locker room and become the best player for the Lakers this season.
5. The Sweet Taste Of Success Will Drive The Best Big Man In The Game
Anthony Davis has finally tasted postseason success. Davis took a ton of criticism for his attitude and the way he gave up on the Pelicans by forcing his way out of the franchise. New Orleans wasn't a contender at any point, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Pelicans management tried everything to get Anthony Davis the help he needed to win in the playoffs, with the likes of Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, and DeMarcus Cousins assisting Davis.
The Pelicans were good, but Davis couldn't win as the man. He was a bit raw and didn't experience the highest level of play yet. It wasn't until he joined the Lakers where he tasted the blood, sweat, and tears that were needed to win the title. Once he tasted it, a beast will be awoken inside of him. Despite making 6 All-Star games with New Orleans, the criticism he took was widespread.
His then-coach Alvin Gentry made it clear that Davis was becoming toxic in the locker room, and the Pelicans fanbase even turned their back on him. Davis' move to Los Angeles worked out in the end and he won the chip. He will be hungry to win more and he will start the 2021 season with a massive bang.
4. Anthony Davis Is A Better Player Thanks To LeBron James
Anthony Davis is the best sidekick in the NBA right now. LeBron James has it all as an NBA superstar and we have seen him dominate the league for nearly 2 decades. Davis Is the best sidekick to LeBron James because he learned how to be a dominant player and mold himself into the next franchise star for the Lakers. Anthony Davis didn't mind having the attention go to LeBron James all the time, and he focused on dominating both ends of the floor. Davis was being primed to grow to be the man leading the Lakers very soon.
Anthony Davis was always a great player but he didn't quite win with the New Orleans Pelicans. He didn't have any superstars around him and certainly no leaders to look up to. In Los Angeles, he has the best possible leader to look up to in LeBron James who makes his teammates better on the floor and also remains pristine off the court. Davis has already begun improving his game when playing alongside LeBron James and this is expected to continue on his path to being an all-time great player.
We all saw how Davis nailed a game-winning three-pointer in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets in last season's playoffs. Davis has already experienced taking and making a massive shot in the Western Conference Finals, and he was ready to do the same in the Finals although he wasn't needed as much against an outmatched opposition. Playing with LeBron James has made Anthony Davis a more confident superstar, and a man who has many traits and can realistically master both sides of the ball.
3. Anthony Davis Must Be One Of The Top Scorers In The League
Anthony Davis led the Lakers in scoring last season. He put up 26.1 PPG on 50.3% shooting and finished 10th overall in scoring. He was efficient from the field, nailing 50.3% of his shots from the field and 84.6% from the stripe. From three, Davis shot 33.0% which is strong for a player in his position. Davis must continue these numbers for the Lakers this year because his team needs him to.
Anthony Davis has the most ability to score on his team because LeBron James will take a playmaking role. Dennis Schroder is a very good scorer, but he's best as a 6th man or a secondary scoring option. Montrezl Harrell is expected to come off the bench for the Lakers as well and will need to play off a superstar with the scoring ability of Anthony Davis. Davis has the best post offense, best mid-range offense, and best ability to create his own shots on the Lakers.
With LeBron James coasting for the majority of the season and resting his body, Anthony Davis needs to up his scoring output to keep the Lakers as the best team during the regular season. Anthony Davis is in his prime and his scoring output will most likely eclipse his career-high average of 28.1 PPG during the 2018 season with the Pelicans.
2. LeBron James Will Not Be At His Best For The Majority Of The Season
LeBron James is the best player on the Lakers and the greatest player in the world right now. But James will not be at his best for the majority of the season, because he will be 36 years old with plenty of mileage on his body. LeBron cannot handle the burden of a championship team for 82 games any longer and needs to preserve most of his energy for the postseason. The only thing on LeBron's mind will be capturing 5 NBA rings, to equal the total of Los Angeles great Kobe Bryant and get closer to Michael Jordan's 6.
LeBron will not fight for the MVP Award anymore, because we saw how last year he fell short despite being the best player in the league. With LeBron playing a secondary role and the rest of the roster looking for the superstar to feed off of, Anthony Davis will take his game to the next level. Davis will have his best season yet as he enters the MVP race and also becomes one of the favorites for the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
1. Anthony Davis Is In His Prime And Can Have His Best Season Yet
With Anthony Davis entering the MVP race and also very likely winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award, there is no doubt who will be the king of Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard with the Clippers will be fantastic and LeBron James will awaken during the postseason, but Davis will reign supreme. He will challenge the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo for the title as the best player in the league and that will be for the benefit of the Lakers.
Anthony Davis was ranked in 2nd place among all NBA players by the ESPN player rankings, and he has a chance to solidify that this season. In a league ran by smaller players and forwards, Davis is the best big man in the game. But for Anthony Davis, he doesn't play like an old-school big man. Davis plays like a guard which allows him to greatly affect the game in every way.
Davis has learned how to dominate a basketball game playing with LeBron James, and with the pressure of leading the Lakers in scoring, he will completely take over Los Angeles as the ultimate superstar in the league.
Davis will continue improving his offensive game by taking more good quality threes and dominating in his sweet spots. His back-to-the-basket game will continue improving and he will continue drawing fouls at a steady rate. His real improvement will come on defense where, like Kevin Durant with Golden State, he will make a valiant effort to dominate. Davis is already a great defensive player, but he will take the next step to be one of the best defenders in the league alongside Rudy Gobert and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As the best player on the team, Anthony Davis will be the catalyst for the Lakers reaching the NBA Finals where the Purple and Gold will likely repeat as NBA champions.