Anthony Davis Has Gotten The Stamp Of Approval From LeBron James | The King Says AD Is Balling Like A Top 75 Player Again

LeBron Says Anthony Davis Is Great Again
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis has finally gotten the LeBron James stamp of approval. After struggling to find consistency in his game, AD is healthy and the star that is leading the surging Lakers back into contention in the Western Conference.

Anthony Davis Makes History 

Davis was vintage, dropping 37 points and snatching 21 rebounds with five blocks and five steals in a tightly contested 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on the road Tuesday night. 

Since steals and blocks have officially been recorded in 1973-1974, Davis is the first player to record 35-plus points, 20-plus rebounds, five-plus steals, and five-plus blocks in a game.

James says AD is finally looking like the dominant player who helped lead them to the bubble championship in 2020. The Lakers as a whole are finally looking somewhat like the iconic franchise that is tied with the Boston Celtics for most championships all-time.

“We haven’t talked about it, but he [LeBron James] did say that I’m playing like my old self, so I’m trying to get back into that rhythm,” Davis told ESPN about a recent conversation he had with the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer.

Anthony Davis Ready To Replace LeBron James As No. 1 Option?

The Lakers were 5-10 (13th seed in Western Conference) and fresh off a three-game win streak prior to Tuesday night’s loss to Phoenix. Anthony Davis had been the main component in that winning streak.

The Brow is averaging 26.4 points, and 12.6 rebounds and is shooting 55 percent from the field. A small portion of Davis’ excellence has come without the help of LeBron James. James has been out for the past five games, including the Suns game, and Davis has stepped up in his absence. 

 

In the past four games, Davis has poured in 30 or more points to lead the team with LeBron ailing. He joins some elite company as one of only three players in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and shoot 60 percent from the floor in three straight games, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1963) and Bob McAdoo (1975). 

This was the type of dominance that LeBron has been begging for from Davis ever since the Lakers traded for the former New Orleans Pelicans star. James, who is 37 years old now, is literally so old that Nike is running an ad campaign about him competing with Father Time played by Steven Adams’ doppelgänger Jason Momoa.

An aging star like that needs to take the back seat if he wants continued postseason success. LeBron has eagerly tried to assume that second-option role, but every year besides 2020 Davis has fallen short of taking over the team and Bron has been forced to carry a bigger burden than expected. 

Is Anthony Davis Finally Healthy? 

But after an offseason of little to no basketball, Davis is playing like he’s been grinding nonstop.

“Obviously when he’s out, or if I’m out, we take it upon ourselves to kind of, as much as we can, fill that void,” Davis told ESPN when discussing how good he’s been with LeBron out.

The Lakers got a minor scare in the second quarter as they were trailing 47-37 against Phoenix. AD went up for a shot and hit his hand on the back of Devin Booker’s head or neck area. He came down hard and in pain, which is a familiar sight to Lakers fans, who held their collective breaths. The trainer checked him, and AD stayed in the game and banged down a couple of free throws, but he continued to flex his left hand and look at it while competing.

He took another hard fall in the third quarter that saw Phoenix outscore L.A. 33-24 and take an 86-79 lead into the fourth quarter before pulling away.

This is the kind of toughness and grit that the Lakers need from AD. He was obviously in pain, but he helped the Lakers pull within one point. His presence, energy and efficient free throw shooting led a 18-6 Lakers run that gave them a surprising 55-53 lead entering halftime. A lead that AD contributed 14 points and 10 boards to in the first two quarters.

That’s the double-double machine the game’s been missing. Davis has been filling the void tremendously, and at this rate, the Lakers could possibly achieve playoff status if they can wrap this momentum up and spread it across the long season ahead of them. He’s been balling out of his mind lately, and everyone sees it. 

Can Lakers Win NBA Championship? 

Davis is one of the main reasons why the Lakers have struggled so much since their 2020 championship. Skepticism swirled concerning AD’s ability to be the first-option superstar LeBron and Los Angeles wanted him to be.

ESPN analyst Jason Williams called Davis “Tin Man.”

He’s finally rising to the occasion, and things are looking up for L.A. Davis’ superstar resurgence mixed with Russell Westbrook’s improved play is a positive sign for the Lakers.  

The different pieces of Voltron are coming together, and it might be scary for the rest of the league if the Lakers can really get a hot streak going. Especially with LeBron James reportedly set to return on Friday.