After a rocky 2022-23 NBA regular season in which the team started 2-10, the Los Angeles Lakers have defied the odds to get into the Play-in Tournament, punch their ticket to the NBA playoffs, and get the best of the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.
Everything is pointing in the right direction for the Lakers, especially with superstar forward Anthony Davis playing like the best defensive player in the league after an impressive showing against the Grizzlies.
When healthy and locked in, it’s hard to argue that any player in the league is a better defender than Davis, especially in the painted area.
Chris Broussard of Fox Sports is already comparing the one-time NBA champion to two of the best big men to ever play the game in former Houston Rockets superstar Hakeem Olajuwon and legendary center Bill Russell formerly of the Boston Celtics via First Things First.
"Anthony Davis is playing like Hakeem Olajuwon or Bill Russell defensively. … When AD plays like this, he's the best defender at the rim." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/D4qxMqnkkI
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) May 1, 2023
Davis blocked 19 shots in the first-round series against the Grizzlies and completely outplayed the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year in Jaren Jackson Jr.
The former No. 1 overall pick was dominant in every sense of the word, and even though that’s a bold comparison by Broussard, he’s right on the money, as Davis was an unstoppable defensive force in the paint.
He also crashed the glass in a big way, as Davis only had one game in which he didn’t record double-digit rebounds, and even in that game, he had nine.
Davis finished with 70 rebounds in five games to go along with his 19 blocks and 103 points.
If Davis can continue this defensive dominance, the Warriors may struggle to come out on top in this series.NEXT: Skip Bayless Makes His Lakers, Warriors Series Prediction