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#pounditThursday, October 21, 2021

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis ‘not 100 percent sure’ about future with Lakers

Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers will be the favorites to repeat as NBA champions next season if Anthony Davis returns, but as of now the star big man is not willing to guarantee that will happen.

Davis, who has a player option on his contract for next season, was asked about his potential free agency after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Sunday night. He said he has experienced “nothing but joy and amazement” while playing in L.A. this season but would not commit to returning next year.

Davis turned down a four-year, $146 million max extension from the Lakers back in January, but that was basically a formality. He will be eligible to sign a five-year deal worth around $200 million with the team this offseason. Davis could also sign a two-year deal with a player option for a third year. If he did that, he would have 10 years of service following the 2021-22 season and be eligible to sign a contract that is worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap.

There was concern at one point that the pandemic could impact Davis’ contract situation, but that is not likely to be a factor. While he has the option of testing free agency, returning to the Lakers clearly makes the most sense — both from a financial and competition standpoint.

Draymond Green responds to Anthony Davis suspension calls

Anthony Davis Jae Crowder elbow

Many have called for Anthony Davis to be suspended for the elbow he threw at Jae Crowder on Friday night, but someone who knows all about throwing cheap shots in the NBA Finals does not feel that is warranted.

Draymond Green, who was suspended for a game during the 2016 NBA Finals for hitting LeBron James in the groin, took to Twitter on Saturday to defend Davis. He said he doesn’t believe in having a playoff series decided by a suspension.

Green’s opinion is obviously a biased one. He was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals for hitting LeBron James in the groin, and many feel that completely turned the series. The Golden State Warriors had a 3-1 lead then lost Game 5 without Green. Cleveland ended up coming back to win the title.

You can see the video of Green’s cheap shot here.

Davis appeared to throw an elbow at Crowder during Game 5 on Friday night. One angle of the play made it seem like Davis elbowed Crowder in the face, but another angle didn’t look quite as bad.

The NBA has indicated that Davis will not be suspended. Green is right that it would not be ideal to determine a champion with a suspension, but that line of thinking can only go so far. You can’t just give players immunity in the NBA Finals.

Video: Anthony Davis caught Jae Crowder with dirty elbow in Game 5

Anthony Davis Jae Crowder elbow

A video of Anthony Davis hitting Jae Crowder with a dirty elbow in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday night went viral on Saturday.

The Miami Heat were leading the Los Angeles Lakers 63-62 in the third quarter at the time of the incident. Both Davis and Crowder were on the ground. Davis then lifted himself up part way, turned around, and whacked Crowder in the face with an elbow.

The move from Davis looked to be intentional, which has some calling for the big man to be suspended.

Davis had 28 points in the game and played 42 minutes despite dealing with a heel injury.

It’s hard to believe that a suspension isn’t warranted for Davis’ actions. Suspending a player for an NBA Finals game for an action like would not be unprecedented. Recall we saw the league take such a measure for this incident in 2016.

Anthony Davis reaggravates right heel injury during Game 5 of NBA Finals

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis exited Game 5 of the NBA Finals between his Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat late in the first quarter after reaggravating his right heel injury.

Davis was trying to catch a Kyle Kuzma airball on offense late in the first quarter. It is unclear how he got hurt, but he was grabbing his right foot after the play. He exited the game to be examined on the sideline and got taped.

The Lakers later said that Davis reaggravated his right heel injury and that he would be available to return to the game.

Davis had eight points and three rebounds in the first quarter of the game. The 27-year-old big man has been great for the Lakers all postseason and is averaging 28.2 points per game during the playoffs.

How the Los Angeles Lakers have built their NBA Finals lead

LeBron James

Following Jimmy Butler’s 40 point, 11 rebound, 13 assist masterpiece in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat looked poised to truly threaten the Los Angeles Lakers. But in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, Tyler Herro and the rest of the Heat learned there is no standing in the way of the King’s destiny.

By winning Game 4, the Lakers established a stronghold in the series, taking a 3-1 lead — an advantage LeBron James has never squandered before in his extensive playoff history. While the Heat, like seemingly every other basketball team in the world, don’t have an answer for the league’s most potent duo of James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ shooting and rebounding have been vital to their success.

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Lakers’ jersey change indicates they plan to clinch championship in Game 5

Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers may have dropped Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but they seem to be intent on sealing matters in Game 5 on Friday night.

The Lakers will be wearing the “Black Mamba” jerseys in Game 5 of the Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the AP’s Tim Reynolds reported on Wednesday.

The Lakers originally planned to wear the Mamba jerseys in Games 2 and 7 (if necessary) of the series. Now, they have decided to put on the special jerseys for Friday’s game.

The Lakers only wear the jerseys, which were designed by the late Kobe Bryant, on limited occasions. They wore the jerseys on 8/24 in honor of Bryant as a nod to the two jersey numbers the late franchise icon wore during his career. The jersey features a snakeskin print on the outside and has 16 stars on the side panels, representing the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships.

The Lakers have worn the jerseys four times total this postseason and are undefeated when wearing them.

If the Lakers were to lose Game 5, they would not be able to wear the jerseys in Game 6 because the Heat are scheduled to wear their black jerseys that game. But the change to these jerseys implies the Lakers mean business and intend to close out the series while wearing jerseys honoring Bryant. After all, the Lakers dedicated their season to Bryant, so this winning it all in the Mamba jerseys be a fitting end.

Anthony Davis has already said the Lakers “can’t lose” in the Mamba jerseys.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Anthony Davis preaches importance of defense after Lakers win Game 4

Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 102-96 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Tuesday night, leading Anthony Davis to emphasize one key for victory: defense.

Davis scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but he also blocked four shots in the win. The Lakers kept the Heat to 42.7% shooting as well.

Davis talked with reporters after the game and said that one of the big differences for his Lakers team compared to his past teams is their focus on defense.

“When I was in New Orleans, Alvin [Gentry] used to say it all the time, he used to preach defense. I had the best offensive team. We would score 130 and would never get past the second round of the Western Conference because we didn’t play defense,” Davis said, via Ben Golliver.

Davis is one of the best defending big men in the league. And LeBron James, though sometimes lacking in effort, can be a stud on defense when he hustles and dedicates himself.

The Lakers know how to make it tough on opponents. Having two of the best players in the league on their team doesn’t hurt, either.

The Lakers lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will have a chance to win the championship in Game 5 on Friday.

Report: Anthony Davis kept LeBron James accountable on defense this season

Anthony Davis
LeBron James has faced criticism in recent years for his lax effort on the defensive end, but Anthony Davis helped snap him out of it this season.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on Saturday that Davis would often point out his Los Angeles Lakers co-star’s mistakes on defense in practice, something that took his teammates aback at first. Davis would also urge James to get the defensive sequence right the next time.

“There were a couple of instances when they had a little back and forth,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was quoted as saying. “‘That’s on you. Don’t try to deflect. That’s your rotation.’ And LeBron would accept it.”

Davis, who is in his first year with the Lakers, is a four-time All-Defensive selection. He is also likely the best defender that James has ever played with.

Indeed, James has often saved his energy on defense in past years, leading to some embarrassing lowlights like this. He has looked much more engaged this season though, and that is a big reason why the Lakers boast an elite defense and are now just two wins away from an NBA title.

Anthony Davis is dominating his way to a championship

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis continues to dominate this postseason and had another spectacular game for the Los Angeles Lakers in their 124-114 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night.

Davis scored 32 points with 14 rebounds in the Lakers’ Game 2 victory in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He made 15 of the 20 shots he took to raise his NBA Finals field goal percentage to 63.7. He’s not just taking close shots to the basket either; Davis has been showing off plenty of range and is 3-for-5 on threes against the Heat.

Davis has elevated his game from the regular season. He is averaging 29.1 points per game this postseason, which is three more points per game than the regular season. His field goal percentage is 56.7. He’s averaging 9.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game in the playoffs.

Our writer Jack Reining said in early August that anyone that wanted to overtake the Lakers would have to go through Davis. That is proving to be prescient, as Davis has been making most of his shots and is nearly unstoppable.

The Heat were playing without Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo on Friday, two of their best players. They won’t be able to compete with the Lakers while shorthanded. They certainly won’t be able to overcome the Lakers with Davis as hot as he is.

Anthony Davis shares why playing in NBA Bubble is easier

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis shared on Wednesday why some players find it easier to play in the NBA Bubble.

The NBA resumed its 2019-2020 season in a “bubble” setting this summer on the Disney World campus after a four-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. Until the playoffs, there were no fans in attendance. Even in the postseason, there is limited attendance, and it’s from guests of the players and team staff members.

Some players have liked playing in the bubble compared to their home or road arenas, and Davis explained why.

“Some guys like the bubble because you don’t have the pressure from opposing fans, or even (home) fans,” Davis said after his Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 1 win in the NBA Finals. “Fans boo you if you’re not playing well, especially if you’re on the road, it can get to you. You have a little bit more ease here in the bubble not having to worry about any of that. But for me, I just go out there and play basketball, and I don’t really care where it is. Once the ball is tipped, I’m fine, the team is fine. We go out there and play basketball.”

Davis said that he loves to play basketball anywhere, so it hasn’t made a difference to him. But that is the reason he believes other players like it.

Davis scored 34 points in the Lakers’ 116-98 win over the Miami Heat. Davis has been the Lakers’ leading scorer all year and is averaging 28.8 points per game this postseason.