Lakers not planning to give Anthony Davis more time at center in Orlando
Playing Anthony Davis at the 5 has unlocked a lot of lineup versatility for the Los Angeles Lakers, but head coach Frank Vogel still does not want to do it any more than he has to.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Vogel said that he is hoping not to play Davis at center any more than the team was doing previously, per Harrison Faigen of SB Nation. Vogel also said that there was no change with Dwight Howard’s status for Orlando and added that, if Howard sits out, the Lakers may give Devontae Cacok, Kostas Antetokounmpo, Markieff Morris, or even Kyle Kuzma more minutes at the 5.
Davis, who was averaging 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season, had seen about 38 percent of his minutes at center, per Basketball Reference. That lineup configuration had been able to juice the Lakers with small-ball floor-spacing and switchability at every position. But limiting Davis’ time at the 5 prevents the unnecessary wear-and-tear that comes from constantly banging with opposing seven-footers, which is especially important for a player like Davis who is historically prone to injury.
If Howard does ultimately decide against joining the Lakers in Orlando, it could leave them with JaVale McGee as the only true center on their roster. Still, that does not mean that the Lakers plan to overburden Davis, who is facing an important offseason after the Orlando experiment is complete.