Anthony Davis

The key to the Lakers success is Davis playing at the five spot as much as he can.

The Lakers are now 1-2 after beating the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night. The Lakers didn't play a perfect game of basketball, but thanks to good outside shooting and a vintage performance from Carmelo Anthony, they pulled out a victory.

What was more glaring was how much better the Lakers played when Anthony Davis slid over to the center spot. 

Big Game James Likes It

Laker legend James Worthy echoed these sentiments earlier this week.

“To me, I think he’s the guy. He’s our five. Nobody else is our five. is the guy that needs to go down in there, get damn nasty, and do it every night until teams can’t take it anymore. We know he can go out there and all that from 15 to 17 feet, but when you see the way you are being punked in the paint someone has to take care of that. He’s the guy that has to do it. It’s simple. It’s not difficult.”

Worthy has a good point. Davis may be on the slender side of a five, but he has the height and athleticism. Davis in the first three games disrupts all penetration into the point and can handle any big man off the dribble. On the offensive end, he can shoot from outside, and off the dribble, he will beat just about any other big man in the NBA. 

The Lakers Point Guard

Bigger than just Davis' efficiency on both ends of the court is how he affects the other four guys. After the Lakers' practice on Saturday, Davis' teammate Russell Westbrook had some comments indicating his preference for Davis' playing the five.

"It puts teams in a bind because you've got shooters and you've got attackers on the floor to kind of do whatever it is that we need to do, and it's just up to us to make the right play."

For Westbrook, Davis playing the five spreads the floor better than DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard clogging the paint. Westbrook's game is his blazing speed into the paint to find a guy like Davis, finishing at the rim himself, or stopping on a dime and taking his patented mid-range jumper. With Davis spreading the floor playing the five, Westbrook's path to the rim is more open and is if Davis is cutting, Westbrook can throw the lob to him. 

The Other Lakers Big Men

Let's just be frank about DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard--they are support pieces. Role Players. Howard has given some good minutes so far, but he's most definitely coming off the bench. Jordan looked much improved in the first quarter against the Grizzlies, but he also was getting bullied on the offensive rebounds. Davis just has more energy and more force in the paint than Jordan and Howard do. This is not a knock against our backup centers. They've been dominant forces in their careers, and Howard may go down as one of the best big men in a long time, but both of them are role players now. Their effectiveness on the floor with the Lakers' current lineup just doesn't play out as well. 

The Lakers know Davis is the key to their success. Davis' role improves the play of all his teammates. 

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/lakers-news-anthony-davis-should-be-playing-the-five-as-much-as-possible/ar-AAPWBtI

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