NBA

The Lakers Just Gave the Rest of the NBA Another Reason to Fear Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is a couple of months removed from an impressive first campaign with the LA Lakers. Davis was a guiding force toward pushing the franchise to an NBA title. Before he begins his second campaign with LA, Davis divulged what the team wants him to do ahead.

Anthony Davis’ impressive first season in LA

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Anthony Davis’ first season with the Lakers couldn’t have gone any more picture-perfect.

Davis quickly gelled alongside LeBron James as the two anchored and guided the team to the Western Conference’s best mark. After a seven-year absence, the Lakers returned to the playoffs and secured their first No. 1 seed in the West in a decade.

A dominant run through the playoffs followed the regular-season success. The Lakers finished with a 16-5 overall record, including only being pushed to six games once.

Despite nagging injuries, Davis excelled in the postseason averaging 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 57.1% shooting from the floor and 38.3% from 3-point range. The duo of James and Davis, along with LA’s stout defense, guided them comfortably to an NBA title.

Ahead of Davis’ second year with the Lakers, he revealed the team’s plans for him.

Lakers want Anthony Davis to shoot more 3-pointers

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Heading into his second campaign in LA, Anthony Davis clearly understands his role with the franchise.

Following the team’s busy offseason with several notable roster moves, the Lakers have sent a strong message to their star big man: Shoot more threes. (H/T Ryan Ward of Lakers Daily)

“Last year Coach talked to me about getting my 3-point attempts up,” Davis said. “I think I was shooting maybe three a game last year and 38% in the bubble. He said it helped us win and he wants me to get that average up to five attempts a game.

“Just having the confidence, working with Mike (Penberthy) on my shooting day in and day out, shooting the ball with confidence and just letting it fly. The team, the players want me to shoot it. They have a lot of confidence in my, so I’ve just got to be confident enough to go out there and shoot the ball. Whether it’s a pull-up 3, sidestep or whatever it is. Just try to get my attempts up to five, knowing it will help the team.”

Last season, Davis experienced an uptick in his 3-point attempts going from 2.6 in his final year with the New Orleans Pelicans to 3.5. The 27-year-old hovered around that figure in the playoffs with 2.9 attempts from distance, hitting a respectable 38.3% clip.

The Lakers have added more offensive capability talent to their frontcourt with Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell, allowing Davis to get more work from deep. Although it was only preseason action, he did comfortably nail 6-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc last Friday against the Phoenix Suns.

It’s hard to imagine that he will sustain that type of efficiency shooting 3-pointers, but the high number of attempts should indicate what’s to come next season.

Stacked roster for another NBA title run

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The increased workload from 3-point range for Anthony Davis alone speaks to the offensive dependency the Lakers will have on him this season.

If Davis’ new max contract doesn’t spell it out enough, LA sees him as the focal point to their long-term future. LeBron James is also heading into his 18th campaign after a shortened offseason that will see the star big man carry a more significant load.

The Lakers strengthened the roster’s overall talent that could see the emergence of another potentially pivotal factor with Talon Horton-Tucker. There are many areas where LA can receive offensive production, but it’s quite clear that Davis is the centerpiece.

All of this has well-positioned the franchise to make a strong run at securing another NBA title this upcoming season.