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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Anthony Davis

Why the road to the NBA Finals in the West goes through Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Regardless of how you feel about LeBron James as a basketball player, there is no denying the impact he has had on the NBA. Even off the court, James is always thinking multiple moves ahead of his opponents. When James’ 13-year playoff streak was broken last season during his first campaign with the Lakers, it surprised no one to learn that the King had concocted a new plan.

That plan was appeasing Anthony Davis’ trade request by acquiring the seven-time All-Star from the New Orleans Pelicans.

With “The Brow” donning purple and gold, James took on a new challenge in his 17th season, making the transition to being the Lakers’ primary point guard. James passed this new test with flying colors, as he sits poised to capture his first assist title, while also leading the Lakers to the top record in the Western Conference. When the postseason begins, the Lakers can rest assured that James will continue to deliver his Hall of Fame-level contributions on a nightly basis. Still, it will be Davis, who will ultimately determine their fate.


Anthony Davis picture became a meme after Lakers’ win

Anthony Davis

A photo of Anthony Davis after the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the rival Clippers on Thursday night went viral.

Davis poked his head into LeBron James’ postgame news conference, which was captured in a photo by reporter Ben Golliver.

The photo of Davis peaking in for a look was funny to many, who then fired up the memes and jokes. Take a look:

Davis didn’t get quite the love that LeBron got on Thursday, but he led the Lakers with 34 points in their 103-101 win. The Lakers entered the resumed season in Orlando as the top-ranked team in the Western Conference and are now closing in on the Bucks for the best overall record in the league.

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.

LeBron James compares Anthony Davis to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with new look

Anthony Davis is going with some new goggles to protect his injured eye, even if he is far from the first Los Angeles Lakers big man to sport the look.

The seven-time All-Star Davis was photographed at practice on Wednesday rocking the specks. He had missed a session earlier this week after being poked in the eye during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Fellow Lakers star LeBron James left a comment on Instagram comparing Davis to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who rocked the goggles for the better part of his 20-year NBA career.

Davis now appears to be on track to suit up for Thursday’s official bubble opener against the rival LA Clippers. As for the goggles look, it definitely seems to be in style once again.

Anthony Davis in danger of missing Lakers’ bubble opener against Clippers

The LA Clippers will not be at full strength for Thursday’s official bubble opener, but their opponents might not be either.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told the media on Tuesday that there is “some concern” that star big man Anthony Davis might not play against the Clippers, per Brad Turner of the LA Times. Davis was poked in the eye during Saturday’s scrimmage and is still experiencing discomfort.

The seven-time All-Star missed Tuesday’s practice session and was spotted on the sidelines wearing a pair of sunglasses.

In addition to the uncertainty over Davis, the Lakers will be without guard Rajon Rondo, who continues to recover from a broken thumb. The Clippers, meanwhile, will not have Lou Williams for Thursday’s game, who is under mandatory ten-day quarantine because of bizarre circumstances. Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley are also uncertain after recently departing the bubble for excused absences, meaning that Thursday’s opener may not have quite the expected star power on both sides.

Report: Lakers should have no issue re-signing Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis Lakers

Like almost all other businesses across the country, NBA teams are dealing with some unexpected financial issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That could have a direct impact on free agency, and some have wondered if the Los Angeles Lakers will have a difficult time bringing back Anthony Davis.

Apparently that is not a major concern. In a lengthy piece examining what teams are doing to offset the losses from not having fans at games and playing a shorter season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst cited sources who say the Lakers should have no issue re-signing Davis.

Davis has a $28 million player option for the 2020-21 season, and he will almost certainly decline it. He will then be eligible to sign a five-year deal with the Lakers that is worth roughly $200 million. While all teams stand to lose a significant amount of revenue, Windhorst notes that the Lakers have a $200 million television deal and could raise $300 million in a season without selling a single ticket.

Before the pandemic, there was speculation that Davis could sign a 1-and-1 deal with the Lakers, which would allow him to opt out again and be eligible for — in theory — an even bigger max extension following the 2021-22 season. However, he may be more likely to sign a long-term contract now with so much financial uncertainty surrounding the league.

Davis already turned down one contract offer from the Lakers, but that was more of a technicality than anything. No matter what the circumstances, it would be a surprise if LA lets the big man walk.

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 explains why he will use his last name on back of jersey

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis won’t be wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey when the NBA restarts, though he admitted he thought long and hard about it.

Davis cited the importance of his last name, and how he represents it every time he plays, as being key to his decision.

This means two of the most prominent Laker players will not use a name off the NBA’s approved list, though LeBron James’ stated reason is different than Davis’.

Davis is averaging 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season and will be a key part of any title run the Lakers make.

Lakers not planning to give Anthony Davis more time at center in Orlando

Anthony Davis Lakers

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.