On Monday, a report was released by Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports detailing multiple quotes from Anthony Davis. The most interesting part of the article was the report that LeBron James spoke to the Lakers organization about Anthony Davis being the “focal point” of their offense in the 2019-20 season. Davis discussed this in the article, but also spoke about the other side of the game, where Davis wants to win some awards:
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year. I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron, accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night. I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team. And for me personally, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year. If we’re able to hold teams under 100 [points], which is probably unrealistic but it should be our goal, I think we’ll have a shot at winning the title.”
Davis’ aspiration of becoming Defensive Player of the Year isn’t a wild goal by any means. He has never won the award, but was in the top five of voting during the 2014-15 and 2017-18 seasons. He was also in the All-Defensive Teams in those years, as well as in the 2016-17 season.
Also in the quote, he talks about how his defense can translate to overall team defense and how it can give them a good shot to win the NBA Finals in 2020. If the Lakers are even coming close to holding teams below 100 points and AD gets the DPOY trophy at the end, then they’ll definitely be one of the few teams left at the end of the season.
As for LeBron James possibly joining Davis on an All-Defensive Team, that might not be so realistic. LeBron’s defense in recent years has been notably panned, as he seemingly takes off plays sometimes. Of course, this has been excused my most due to the contribution he’s given on the offensive floor during those times, but the unrealistic goal of him making an All-Defensive Team still exists. LeBron has been given the honor six times in his career, but the last instance was back in the 2013-14 season.
However, he’s still a large man who is capable of guarding pretty much every wing player in the NBA if he sets his mind to it. If he decides to take his defense to another level with Davis relieving his load on offense, then go ahead and add more possibility to the Lakers’ title hopes. Still, I’d put more money on Davis winning DPOY than LeBron making an All-Defensive Team if I was a betting man.