By Tamara Latta, Contributing Writer
The Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis has been a beautiful sight to behold on defense. Davis is showing the world who the real 2022-2023 DPOY player should have been. He’s on another level when he’s playing at his best.
“I think the world know, basketball world and competition how dominant Anthony Davis is defensively,” Lebron James said.
Davis averaged 16.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 4.2 blocks for the 2022-2023 season. He doubled the DPOY numbers in every defensive category. Though, his regular season stats were splendid, his performance in the playoffs has been more appealing.
After dominating the Memphis Grizzlies on defense, Davis has carried over that energy in the second round of the playoffs against Golden State. He single handedly destroyed the Warriors in a California showdown, helping his team knock off the Warriors 117-112 in San Francisco. Davis finished the game with 30 points, 23 rebounds 5 assists and four blocks. He is a nightmare for defenders when he’s healthy and is still the defensive monster in the NBA and it’s not even up for debate.
“He’s was elite defensively this series,” coach Darvin Ham said mentioning the Lakers matchup against the Grizzlies. As we get to the next opponent, we have to keep stacking. We have to have the same thing and set standards for ourselves.”
Davis is the first Laker in over two decades since Shaquille Oneal to have at least three 30-point, 15-rebound games in one playoff series. It’s also worth noting that while Anthony Davis is certainly among the leaders in blocks, he is not the NBA’s all-time leader in this category but he’s on the same path as Hakeem Olajuwon – who holds the record with 3,830 blocks over the course of his NBA career.
When in good health, Davis is the best defender basketball has ever seen in college and on a professional level. He is considered one of the best power forwards in the league due to his versatile skill set, which includes scoring, rebounding, blocking shots, and defending. No player has ever affected the game by just being on the floor, Davis changes everything.
If Davis continues to play at a high level, the Warriors and the rest of the league are in trouble.