Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis played center last season for the first time since his 2018-19 season with the New Orleans Pelicans. He was unsure of the change under then-head coach Frank Vogel.
Now, the eight-time All-Star is more confident to play either position under Darvin Ham. “I trust Coach’s decision,” explained Davis when asked about starting at the 5.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Lakers have top-10 odds to win their 18th championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks are predicting another NBA Finals appearance.
Anthony Davis on how he feels about potentially starting at the 5: "I trust Coach’s decision. I mean, I’m pretty sure he heard AD wants to play the 4, so he knows where I stand, but at the end of the day, I want to win, so if that’s me playing the 5, that’s what it’s got to be."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 13, 2022
“I mean, I’m pretty sure he heard AD wants to play the 4, so he knows where I stand,” continued Davis. “But at the end of the day, I want to win, so if that’s me playing the 5, that’s what it’s got to be.”
The NBA veteran is entering his 11th season.
In 40 starts with the Lakers during the 2021-22 season, Davis averaged 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. The 6’10” Kentucky product can succeed at either forward or center.
Lakers star Anthony Davis is now okay with playing center instead of power forward
On October 26, 2021, in the Lakers’ 125-121 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs, the center finished with a season-high 35 points and 17 rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
While with the Pelicans in the 2016-17 season, as the team’s starting center, Davis averaged 28 points and 11.8 boards. Of course, that was back when he was 23.
Last season, the center dealt with an MCL sprain and an ankle injury. The latter was more severe, causing him to miss several games. Davis has not appeared in at least 70 games since his 2017-18 season with New Orleans.
Moreover, LeBron James understands Davis’ importance to the Lakers. When healthy, the team has the best chance to win. LeBron was also asked by reporters on whether or not he expects Davis to average double-digit rebounds.
“The only way that we can gain trust [from] the coaching staff that we can play smaller and faster is that we rebound,” said James. “That is our job. Our job is to clean glass if we play small at times.”
Davis has yet to average double-digit rebounds with the Lakers. However, his bigger goal this season should be staying healthy. If he stays on the court throughout most of the season and accumulates 7 rebounds per game, it’s a plus for Los Angeles.
Whether the three-time blocks champion plays center or forward is a bit irrelevant. LeBron and G.M. Rob Pelinka are striving to return to the playoffs. It’s an easier task at hand with Davis playing.
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