Is LeBron James Going to Win His 5th MVP Award?

He Just Leads the Path For Us": Giannis Antetokounmpo Sees LeBron ...
(Image/Essentially Sports)

This season, as always, the superstars and titans of the league have been battling to earn the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award. Two of the main contenders are the Los Angeles Lakers superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.  

The King of Los Angeles, LeBron James is like a fine wine that gets better with age. At the age of 35, he has led the purple and gold to the top spot in the Western Conference with an impressive record of 49 wins and 14 losses.  

James is the facilitator and is constantly talking and shouting out plays. His passing this year has been exceptional and that along with his basketball IQ makes him one of the best playmakers in the league. This season James is averaging 10.6 assists per game. This is the highest in the league with the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young in second, with 9.3 per game. Alongside his playmaking skills, James’ scoring has been dominant, averaging an impressive 25.7 points per game. Most of these points come from his unprecedented ability to get to the rim with 14 drives per game which equates to 57% of his points.  

He has been a threat from deep by being just below a league-average 3-point shooter and has increased his efficiency from last year (from .339% to .349%). This efficiency along with his great mid-range game and rim finishing equates to an effective field goal percentage of .555%. Which combined with 19.6 field-goals attempted per game is a hugely impressive feat.  

Defensively James has been solid and the infamous chase down block has been on display many times in the city of angels. He has been grabbing a lot of rebounds with 7.9 per game, of which 6.9 are defensive. His insane athleticism along with his strength allows him to guard anyone if needed, and when players do get past him, he has the speed to recover and defend the rim. 

When looking at Jacob Goldstein’s Player Impact Plus-Minus (PIPM) metric, LeBron James comes out as third in the league with a hugely impressive 6.10. Looking at the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) metric James has a rating of 26.0, which is in the top 10 in the league. 

The 35-year-old superstar has been the focal point for this exceptional Lakers team. He has led the team to the top in a very competitive conference and has had some huge performances against other championship-contending sides. In the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 6, James had a sublime 37 points in 36 minutes. The game after that was against the Los Angeles Clippers in a great derby win where he had 28 points in 34 minutes. Both teams are very strong contenders and favourites to win the championship. James showed them what they should expect and fear in the playoffs.  

LeBron James have proven this season that he is an extremely strong candidate for the MVP award. At the age of 35 there’s still no sign of him slowing down. 

Navigate through the other MVP candidates via the link below.

NEXT: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Grading the Lakers’ 2019/20 Bench

(Image/John McCoy/Getty Images)

Following on from our last article where we graded the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2019/20 starters, we are now turning to the bench players to assess their performances this season. 

After an impressive rookie season and a decent second, expectations were high for Kyle Kuzma. Especially when he was purposely left out of all trade discussions. Kuzma hasn’t performed to the level or standard that he produced last season. However, some aspects of his game have improved significantly. 

Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Listening to Kyle Kuzma Offers Ahead of ...
(Image/Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press)

Kuzma’s three-point efficiency has declined quite drastically since his rookie season and it’s decreased again from last season to a worrying .297%. Kuzma has shown he is capable of being a threat from deep, but it has been in flashes rather than on a consistent basis. With some of the passing talents on this team such as LeBron James, Kuzma is getting some nice looks and needs to be hitting them with more efficiency. 

Kuzma’s shooting has decreased in pretty much every statistic that you look at and this has contributed to his overall field-goal percentage dropping to .432%.  

Although Kuzma has struggled with the offensive aspect of his game this season the same cannot be said for his defence. Kuzma’s total rebounds per 36 minutes has increased by 0.7 (from last year) to 6.6. This along with an increased effort and focus on defence has helped the Lakers to become the second-best defensive team in the league.  

Grade: C 

(Image/Rick Bowmer/Associated Press)

Rajon Rondo’s role has been clear and that is to set the pace and control the floor with his elite-level passing, when the bench unit are getting minutes. The execution in this role hasn’t been to the level of standard that the Lakers need. Rondo’s passing hasn’t been at the level that he is known for and his playmaking has been lackluster. However, his work rate is still there. 

Defensively Rondo has suffered this season and it’s one of his glaring weaknesses. One that normally is worth the trade-off because of the assists and plays that he creates. However, it has been exploited often this season. Rondo is averaging his lowest steals per game of his career at 0.8, as well as averaging the lowest total rebounds of his career, with 3 per game. 

Rondo’s shooting has improved. His field-goal percentage increased from .405% to .418% along with an increase in his free-throw percentage of .020%. These small increases helped boost Rondo’s effective field-goal percentage to .480%.  

Rajon Rondo is past his peak; the playmaking and passing is slowly deteriorating to the point that his weaknesses are starting to outweigh his strengths.  

Grade: D 

(Image/Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports)

With LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster you would assume they would get all the plaudits. However, Dwight Howard has rightfully gained a lot of attention. This season he has been nothing short of phenomenal and no-one expected it. Howard has added a lot to this team. 

Offensively Howard has been finishing around the rim with impressive efficiency especially when LeBron James is throwing sublime assists. His effective field goal percentage is a career-high .737%. Which is more than a .1% increase of his previous career-high (.633%). In the limited minutes Howard is on the floor he is averaging 7.5 points.  

Defensively Howard has been exceptional and in limited minutes is picking up 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The work rate and determination shown has had a great impact on the team on both ends of the court.  

A lot of people thought ‘Superman’ was past it but in his second spell for the purple and gold he has been a huge surprise and has excelled beyond everyone’s expectations. 

Grade: A 

(Image/Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

At the start of the season Kentavious Caldwell-Pope struggled. Although, as the season progressed he enhanced his play and is having the most efficient shooting season in his NBA career. 

Caldwell-Pope isn’t scoring as many points per game and his field-goal attempts have gone down due to the fact that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are carrying most of the offensive load. Even though his volume has decreased, Caldwell-Pope’s efficiency has seen a notable improvement. KCP is attempting 7.42 field goals per game with a career-high .472% conversion rate.

A threat from deep, Caldwell-Pope’s efficiency from behind the arc is at a career-high .394%. This is one of the main factors his effective field-goal percentage is at a career-high .565%. Caldwell-Pope’s passing and playmaking have definitely improved this season, and this is evident when looking at his assists per 36, compared to last year (up to 2.4 from 1.9).  

Defensively he has improved slightly from last season, but it is still an issue. A few years ago, KCP was becoming a good ‘3 and D’ player however since joining the Lakers the defensive side has been lacking and the work rate and effort isn’t quite there. This season KCP has contributed more on the defensive side and has shown glimpses of great lockdown defense. 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is having a career-high shooting season and has been playing better defensively. There is still room for improvement though. 

Grade: B 

(Images/Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Fan favourite Alex Caruso has been having a season full of highlight-worthy dunks and plays and has generally improved from last season. 

Caruso’s efficiency from beyond the arc has taken a hit this year and it’s below league average at .355%. His finishing at the rim and mid-range game has improved and this is clear when looking at the increase in his 2-point efficiency (from .431 to .471). Caruso’s passing has strengthened too and his playmaking abilities have enhanced over the course of the campaign. Additionally, he is turning over the ball a lot less with only 1.6 turnovers per 36 minutes.  

Defensively Caruso has excelled, averaging 2.1 steals per 36 minutes which is an increase of 0.5 from last year. His work rate and effort on both sides of the floor is intense and he has performed very well in the role. 

Grade: B+ 

The deep reserves have been left out as they have only played less than 500 minutes this season. Their contributions have been valuable to the team though. Quinn Cook and Jared Dudley have shot well from beyond the arc and contributed some valuable points when called upon

Check out Lakers UK’s podcast The Lake Lake Show on all podcast platforms. Including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.

Fanatics UK: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!

NBA Store Europe: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout. This is not limited to Lakers gear, the discount is available site-wide on any product you wish to purchase!


Grading the Lakers’ 2019/20 Starters

(Image/NBC Los Angeles)

With the NBA and the world at a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the ideal time to roundup the Los Angeles Lakers’ season especially when there are rumours floating around that the season may be canceled. 

The Lakers have had a successful season and are currently sitting on the second-best record in the league, 49-14. Led by the aging titan LeBron James and perennial All-Star Anthony Davis, who are averaging 25.7 and 26.7 points per game, respectively. With the team having performed so well we’re going to grade each starting player from A+ to F- based on their contributions and impact. 

LeBron  James After NBA Suspends Season: 'What We Really Need to ...
(Image/Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

At the age of 35, LeBron James is the purple and gold’s floor general that dominates the court. He is facilitating and orchestrating most of the plays and is the leagues assists leader, posting a sensational 10.6 per game. Not only is James assisting a huge amount, but he is also scoring relentlessly with 25.7 points per game.  

James was more of a threat from deep this year compared to last, this was evident as his 3-point percentage increased to an above-average 34.9%.  

When looking at Jacob Goldstein’s PIPM metric, James is sat in third with an impressive +6.1 score. On both ends of the court he has been a huge presence and his defensive impact has been evident throughout the year.  

There are not many negatives when looking at LeBron James’ season. However, the glaring issue is his poor free-throw shooting (.697%) which is below his career average. 

The Lakers traded a lot of key pieces to get Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to form arguably the best duo in the league, and this was a crucial move for the organisation. With the way James has stepped up into another gear, it’s clear that it was a great decision. 

Questions were asked on whether LeBron James would deteriorate but he has proved again why he’s in the conversation of being the greatest player of all time. 

Grade: A+ 

Anthony  Davis Reiterates He Will Enter Free Agency Next Summer
(Image/Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In his debut season for the Lakers, Anthony Davis has shined and has proven to be the perfect superstar to link up with LeBron James.  

Davis is proving to the league that he is one of the best 2-way players. He is leading the Lakers’ scoring effort with an impressive 26.7 points per game, whilst being one of the top Defensive Player of The Year candidates.  

When looking at Jacob Goldstein’s PIPM metric, Davis is sat at 7th with an impressive +4.55 score. Davis has been exceptional on the defensive front and is averaging 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game. 

Davis has been asked to put up more 3-pointers and his efficiency (33.5%) is around league average. He needs to put up even more shots and work on his efficiency as it creates a lot more space by drawing defenders out to him when beyond the arc. 

Overall, Anthony Davis has been a top-10 player but there is another gear that he can go into. 

Grade: A 

Danny Green note sa performance au cours de la saison NBA 2019-2020
(Image/Getty Images)

After his Championship winning season last time out in Toronto, Danny Green landed in the City of Angels and has been a good addition to the roster. 

Green has not hit the heights of last season and his performances have dipped. But he has still been impactful. When looking at Goldstein’s PIPM metric, Danny Green has a +1.51 score. Although it’s not as impressive as last year (+3.85) he is still in the top 100 (#65).

Green is known for his “3 and D” playstyle and has been impressive on the defensive end, but his scoring hasn’t been as efficient compared to his previous seasons. His 3-point percentage is still above league average at 37.8% but this is a huge dip compared to last year where it was 45.5%. 

Overall Danny Green has been a good addition but has not reached near the level he showed last year in Toronto. To get close to that he needs to be more consistent and improve his field goal and 3-point efficiency. 

Grade: C

Avery Bradley on beating Nuggets for second time in Denver: "They ...
(Image/Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Avery Bradley’s defensive work rate and efficiency has been great this season. He has brought his toughness along with a high work rate and has been a big reason why the Lakers are a top-3 defensive team.  

Bradley’s offensive game has improved this year compared to last and he’s a lot more efficient. His shooting efficiency has increased from last year. By 1.3% from range and by 3.6% from the field. This efficiency increase along with his defensive output has made a big impact on the team.  

Overall, Avery Bradley has had a good season and has improved upon his last. The consistency is the only question mark around Bradley. 

Grade: B 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is JaVale-McGee-22.jpg
(Image/Kirby Lee-USA/TODAY Sports)

JaVale McGee’s defense has been excellent this season and he is also a big reason as to why the Lakers are a top-3 defensive team in the NBA . 

McGee’s rim defense has been exceptional resulting in him averaging 1.5 blocks per game. He is a key component to the defensive cog of the Lakers and not only is his defense exceptional, but his offense has really improved this year. McGee’s field goal percentage is the second-highest it has been in his career at 64%. 

JaVale McGee has found his role within the team and although he plays limited minutes he certainly makes an impact when on the floor. 

Grade: B+ 

Check out Lakers UK’s podcast The Lake Lake Show on all podcast platforms. Including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.

Fanatics UK: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!

NBA Store Europe: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout. This is not limited to Lakers gear, the discount is available site-wide on any product you wish to purchase!


Who Will Be the Lakers’ Backup Playmaker?

(Image/Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the last stretch of the season to go, the Los Angeles Lakers need a secondary playmaker to emerge from their roster that can be relied on to carry the load when LeBron James is off the floor.  

To be able to analyse who can fill the role it’s important to understand how impressive LeBron James is at creating plays and buckets for the team.

James is within the top 15 players in the NBA when it comes to usage rate, with 30.8%. Hence why he has such a strong presence on the court. With this high usage, he also contributes to a league leading (when looking at players who have played over 5 games) 54.4% of the Lakers’ assists.

The 35-year-old is sitting at the top of the assist leaderboard by a distance, with a sensational 10.7 assists per game. Just to put that into context, All-Star Trae Young is second with 9.3 per game. Not only is James producing a huge number of assists, but he’s doing this whilst maintaining a career-high assist to turnover ratio of 2.65.

Along with these stats and eye test, it’s clear to see that LeBron James is an elite playmaker.

Rajon Rondo, who was tipped to be the secondary playmaker, isn’t at the level he used to be. He can still create assists (averaging 5 per game), however he’s not efficient as he has been in the past and his offensive game has progressively gotten worse.

While on the floor, the Lakers’ offensive rating drops by 8.2, which is a huge amount. Compare this to Alex Caruso, who has a sensational +7.5 when on the court. The purple and gold can’t afford to play Rondo on excessive minutes because the impact is detrimental to the team hence why the playmaking role needs to be assigned to someone like Alex Caruso or even newly acquired guard Dion Waiters

Alex Caruso is a fan favourite in the City of Angels. Caruso has a great all-round game and is especially impactful when on defense. Caruso has an impressive +1.6 in Goldstein’s Defensive Player Impact Plus-Minus score. So when on the court, he isn’t a liability on that end unlike Rondo.

Caruso has already showcased some of his playmaking abilities and is currently averaging 1.8 assists per game whilst producing an efficient 2.3 assists per turnover. His passing isn’t near the level of LeBron James, but it’s at a decent level that the team can take advantage of.

(Image/Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Caruso has proven that he can be relied on when carrying some of the playmaking duties whilst playing more minutes. During last year he was averaging 3.1 assists per game, whilst playing only 3 more minutes per game than he is this season. Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel should increase Caruso’s minutes and let him flourish into the secondary playmaker role. 

If the Lakers don’t want to go down the Caruso route then they can slot Dion Waiters into the role of the backup playmaker. This season is a very small sample size when looking at Waiters passing stats; Miami were not using Waiters as a playmaker and so he was only contributing one assist per game. 

Taking a look back at the 2018-19 season, Waiters was averaging 2.8 assists per game with 1.8 assists per turnover. Waiters isn’t as strong or efficient of a passer compared to Caruso but he can still manage within the role.  

What the Lakers decide could be situational because if there is more of a focus on a 3-point shooter then Dion Waiter is a great choice. However, if there is more of a focus on defense then Caruso is the better option. 

Frank Vogel has a good dilemma in his hands as both guards can be competent in the role. There are over 20 games left to go so there’s still time to experiment with both in the role and analyse who’s more beneficial. 

All stats up-to-date as of March 6.

Who Will Be the Final Piece of the Lakers’ Puzzle?

(Image/Harry How/Getty Images)

After waiving guard Troy Daniels on March 1, the Los Angeles Lakers look to acquire the final piece of the puzzle in their pursuit of the championship. 

LeBron James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Dion Waiters is one of the front runners to fill the final spot on the roster after impressing the Los Angeles Lakers during a workout on the March 2.

Waiters can help command the second unit and is used to being heavily involved. Although it is a very small sample size (3 games), during this season Waiters has a high usage rating of 29.6% combined with a 47.3% from 3-point land. These stats show that Waiters can handle the ball and be relied on to create points.

Looking back at a more complete sample; during the 2018-19 season these percentages dropped to 21.3% and 37.7%, respectively. Although these dropped quite significantly it’s still a relatively high usage/conversion rate.

His threat from 3-point range, along with his overall skill-set, gives the Lakers some much needed spacing and opens an opportunity for more cuts to the basket, as well as pressure around the rim.

(Image/Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Waiters, if conditioned properly and with the right mindset, can be a huge bonus on the defensive end. Per Bleacher Report’s Jim Boehiem, who coached Waiters in college, was quoted saying “he has all of the tools necessary to be a formidable on-ball defender in the NBA. He’s got great quickness, strength and instincts”.  

The main issue with Waiters is his attitude and conditioning. Miami Heat suspended Waiters 3 times this season due to issues ranging from unprofessional conduct to eating edibles on the team plane. If Waiters came in with an open mindset then the culture and professionalism the Lakers offer could help turn his career around. Leaders like LeBron James could help ground Waiters and give him some much needed direction. 

Another former teammate of LeBron James, J.R. Smith is also in the running for the spot. Smith was part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 championship winning team which was spearheaded by James.

(Image/IB Times)

Smith can bring points off the bench which for the Lakers is a huge benefit as when Anthony Davis and/or LeBron James is off the floor there needs to be a body who can provide a scoring output.

Last season Smith was only averaging 6.7 points per game on 34.2% shooting. This isn’t that efficient, however it was a very small sample size of 11 games. With a higher calibre cast around him, Smith would get more open looks resulting in a higher efficiency potentially. During the 2015-16 Championship season, Smith had a 41.5% field goal percentage with an impressive 40% 3-point conversion rate.

By losing Troy Daniels, the Lakers have got rid of an efficient 3-point shooter. J.R smith can help fill that void. He’s a threat from deep with a career 3-point percentage of 37.3%. His main characteristic is being a streaky shooter, however when he gets hot, he ignites and rains them in from downtown.

Smith brings championship winning experience which will help as the Lakers look to push down the stretch and into the playoffs. The main issues regarding Smith is his age and his defensive capabilities. He will have to adjust to spare minutes coming off the bench and needs to be consistent from deep to have a positive impact.

Former Los Angeles Laker, Lance Stephenson has been enjoying a season in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) with the Liaoning Flying Leopards. But due to the coronavirus outbreak the league has suspended matches for the next few weeks, and have suggested extending it to months. Stephenson is open to the opportunity of returning back to the NBA if he finds the right team.

Image result for lance stephenson china
(Image/ABS CBN Sports)

Stephenson is averaging the 12th highest points per game average in the CBA with 26.7. Whilst maintaining an efficient 52.2% shooting rate. Stephenson can create a lot of his own points and he showed this during the 2018-19 NBA season, with the Lakers, where 49.5% of his field goals were unassisted.

With LeBron James off the floor, the Lakers lose their main play-maker and one of the best passers in the league. Players like Stephenson can help relieve some of those play-making pressures.

A good passer and rebounder, Stephenson offers more to the game than just points. He’s an average defender and when needed will put the effort in and be an annoyance to his opponents. His passing will be needed with the bench unit as although he won’t necessarily be the main playmaker, he can find shooters in good spots.

One of Stephenson’s weaknesses is his streaky 3-point shooting. He shoots at a below average rate from deep and has been shooting 30% during this season in China. Although when with the Lakers previously, he was shooting at an above average 37.1%.

The beauty of having Stephenson in this type of bench role is that when he’s hot you can play him and know he’s going to create shots and points. But on the other hand, there isn’t necessarily a need for him to soak up minutes if he can’t get it going. He can sit.

The Lakers have a few options and these players will all come with pros and cons. However, if they are used in the right way then they all can elevate the team going into the postseason. It’s all about finding that gem in the rough and completing the puzzle.

DeMarcus Cousins to Re-sign Next Season?

(Image/NBA Los Angeles)

Frank Vogel, back in February, revealed that DeMarcus Cousins was “on track to get healthy by the playoffs“. However, a couple of days later, Vogel retracted his comments saying that Cousins was not close to a return.

Surprisingly a few days on from that, Cousins was waived to make room for Markieff Morris. But the 29-year-old could very well still have a future in Los Angeles. As it has been reported that himself and the Lakers have mutual interest in a contract agreement come the summer.

Cousins is coming off an ACL tear that he suffered during preseason. Such injury has ruined countless NBA careers. It’s a tightrope that unfortunately many have found themselves on throughout basketball history. Although, in recent years many have bounced back to their former selves.

It is likely that Cousins’ athleticism and physicality won’t be at the level it once was, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t get to a level near his former self. Zach LaVine and Kristaps Porziņģis are recent examples of players getting back to the top of their game following serious injuries.  

However, when Cousins returns, what would his skill-set offer the team?

DeMarcus Cousins offers a powerful offensive arsenal and is accustomed to being heavily involved. Looking back at the 2018-19 season with the Golden State Warriors, although it was a small sample size, he displayed some promising signs following an Achilles injury.

He had an impressive 111.0 offensive rating with a Player Impact Plus-Minus of 2.2+. This was the first season Cousins was playing with a Championship caliber team and he showed that he was up to the task.

Despite having a below average season from the 3-point line (27.4%), he was averaging 16.3 points on 48% shooting. This offense is what the Lakers need and having a bench unit commanded by Cousins could provide the firepower needed for a Championship run next season.

If Cousins can regain his efficiency from range that he displayed during his years in Sacramento and New Orleans, then it will be frightening for the rest of the league. 

Whilst looking at Cousins’ offensive impact, it’s important to have a look at his all-round game.

In his single season with the Warriors, his defensive rating was sitting at 106.5, with 1.5 blocks and 8.2 rebounds per game. For a lot of that season he was struggling and hesitant to get to the perimeter to contest deep shots. His rust and lack of conditioning was evident as his presence in the paint was not what it used to be also.

Towards the end of the campaign, Cousins showed glimpses that he has the skill and effort to be effective as he abused his size in the paint when blocking shots. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0057801cdb63bc57b75dedadc54addd4
(Image/Getty Images)

With LeBron James off the floor, the Lakers could utilise Cousins’ play-making ability. Additionally, he could produce some much-needed points and spacing. 

No-one really knows exactly where Cousins will end up next season but for now he is rehabbing with the Lakers and that is beneficial for both parties. Cousins’ intangibles have really helped develop and grow the Laker culture and this was evident in Frank Vogel’s recent comments; “He’s become part of our family, so he’s going to be around”.

The Lakers’ actions towards Cousins will definitely play a positive part when he decides on his destination for next year. If he does come back to the purple and gold then an already blistering team will become more powerful.

Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.

Fanatics UK: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!

NBA Store Europe: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout. This is not limited to Lakers gear, the discount is available site-wide on any product you wish to purchase!

Anthony Davis’ Impact on the Lakers

(Image/AP Photo/Nam Huh)

With the playoffs within sight, how big of an impact does Defensive Player of the Year candidate Anthony Davis have on the Los Angeles Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers ever nearing the end of the current regular season campaign. With Championship or bust aspirations and winning a record tying 17 titles for the late great Kobe Bryant on their minds. The Lakers should be locked in for the remainder of the season.

A crucial part of the pursuit for the 17th ring will be Anthony Davis.

Davis was front and center during the 2020 All-Star game. Playing in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. He took the game winning free throw to win the game for Team LeBron.

Alongside the likes of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Davis and Co. upped the intensity in the second half and the 4th quarter was full of grit and determination and was a great tribute to Bryant’s ethic and mentality. Although many critics complained it ended on a free throw, it was quite a fitting ending as Bryant started and ended his career from the line. 

R.I.P Mamba.

Image result for anthony davis kobe bryant
(Image/Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Davis has shown that the steep price the Lakers paid for his services has been worth every cent. Davis is having an excellent season for the purple and gold. The perennial All-Star is boasting an impressive +4.3 PIPM (Goldstein’s PIPM) score. This is evident when looking at his exceptional defense; Davis is staking his claim for DPOY with a huge 2.4 blocks per game, as well as 1.6 steals.

Alongside JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, Davis and the Lakers allow minimal points in the paint. This and along with some great perimeter defense equates to the Lakers currently being a top-5 defensive set-up.

On the offence, Davis is averaging a sensational 26.6 points and is fulfilling the role of being one of the best two-way players in the league. He is getting to the line more often and is attempting his 2nd highest free-throw attempts of his career this season whilst hitting a career high in percentage (85.3%). 

Davis has been a monster in the paint this season but he is also stepping up his long-range game and is causing opponents to respect that aspect of his arsenal.

After being persuaded to take more 3s, he has put this into action whilst still maintaining an above average efficiency and this is important when playing alongside LeBron James as creating space and having a threat from deep is crucial to fulfilling the team’s potential.  

The 26-year-old is shooting a below average 31.6% on 3.4 attempts. While his shooting percentage is not at league average, he is still hitting the 3-point shot with enough consistency to force teams to respect his outside game.

Look at the game against the Denver Nuggets just before All-Star weekend to assess the impact Davis is having on the team. Davis put on an exhibition and this was evident as he finished with 33 points (50% from 3), 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

In overtime he sank two threes with assists from James to put the pressure on Denver, then shuts out the game by calmly hitting both free throws. His defence on the Nikola Jokić was nothing short of exceptional and was key to the win.

Image result for anthony davis lebron james
(Image/Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

While Davis’ impact has been felt hugely in 1st half of the season, we can expect for Davis to step it up even further post All-Star break with the Lakers looking to nail down the top seed in the Western Conference.

With the last stretch to go before playoffs it’s going to be an exciting watch as we see the Lake Show dismantle teams at Davis and James’ mercy.  

Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.

Fanatics UK: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!

NBA Store Europe: and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout. This is not limited to Lakers gear, the discount is available site-wide on any product you wish to purchase!