It’s finally here. No, the NBA season has not started yet, but it all starts with media day. The Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to hold their media as the rest of the league had theirs the day before. Of course, they saved the best for last.
We finally got to see LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook together in a Laker uniform. We also got to see players like Carmelo Anthony don the purple and gold for the first time, which is exciting.
That wasn’t the most exciting thing that happened during media day. That honor goes to Davis, who was very candid about his play in the upcoming season. Davis knows missing all those games was detrimental to the team, but more importantly his willingness to play the five has dramatically improved.
Davis confirms he will be playing the center position much more this season:
Davis "expects" to play center. Says he and Vogel have talked about that being the plan.
"I'm comfortable with that."
— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) September 28, 2021
The fact that Davis is coming into this new season with such an open mind is a breath of fresh air. After being reluctant to play at his best position these last few years, to hear that he is comfortable with the idea is phenomenal. Make no mistake about it, the Lakers are a much better team with Davis at the five. Now, don’t get me wrong, some lineups might be beneficial for him to play next to Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan similar to what the Lakers did two years ago, by imposing their will with size and strength.
Head coach Frank Vogel was a bit more coy about the topic, saying they will find a balance for how much AD will play at center versus power forward and drawing similarities to that 2019-20 team that featured Howard and JaVale McGee. If the plan is as reported, however, this will be the first time under Vogel that Davis will start at the five, a direct result of adding Westbrook to the team.
Frank Vogel on AD playing Center: "He's played C the last two years, it's just what kind of balance are we going to have…last year was more him playing the 4, I think we're going to return to the first year's balance but he will play some 4 and some 5"
— Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) September 28, 2021
Davis playing center allows Vogel to add another shooter on the floor. If James is playing the power forward position, the Lakers “small ball” lineup will be ironically big and physically imposing. All this talk about the Lakers age will not matter if they are just simply beating everybody up.
Exciting times for the purple and gold. The chemistry is there and everybody is buying in. All we ask for is for them to stay healthy and you have to like their chances to win it all.