The Los Angeles Lakers had a mostly disappointing season opener on Tuesday, falling to the Golden State Warriors after a lackluster fourth-quarter performance. If there was one hugely positive sign that came from the game, it was Anthony Davis’ performance that was much closer to the AD we saw two seasons ago than the one who had a disappointing season further marred by injuries last year.
Davis finished the game with 33 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 15-of-26 from the field, and could have had even more if not for his poor shooting from the free throw line.
It was a welcome sight for all Lakers fans who saw a down year from their superstar player. Davis was asked about his performance after the game and chalked it up to something simple:
“I just want to be dominant every time I touch the floor.”
That dominance is something the Lakers will have to rely on this season and could be the biggest reason why they win their second championship in three seasons. On paper, the Lakers lost a lot of defensive difference-makers and did not replace them so AD’s role as the defensive anchor will be even more difficult than in years past. It will take plenty of adjustment but as AD said postgame, he’s not too concerned about how the Lakers will fare on that end of the floor even after giving up 38 fourth-quarter points:
Anthony Davis says that the Lakers have guys playing out of position on defense right now due to their injuries.
"I think we'l be fine… We've just got to continue to push, continue to get better." pic.twitter.com/yhRrTHuBek
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 20, 2021
It will be a journey until the Lakers can feel comfortable on that end of the floor but if AD can keep putting together dominant performances like he did on Tuesday, that will give them a much larger margin of error to work with.