On a defensive possession early in Los Angeles Lakers’ team Win game 3, Steph Curry turned on the jet along the back yard line and let Jarred Vanderbilt eat the dust as he drove to the perimeter. The only barrier between Curry and the two points is Anthony Davis steps up to the competition. Curry attempted to land one of his patented floats only for Davis to reach the moon and return it to the sender, where it was recovered by Vanderbilt, who initiated it. a Laker The transition ended with D’Angelo Russell’s third corner.
LeBron James attacking, Anthony Davis defending
LeBron James recognized as LA’s offensive axis, but defense is Anthony Davis’ world and people just live in it. In the middle of the third quarter, golden state embarked on another scoring race to give LA the lead. Klay Thompson penetrated the paint, then passed the ball to Green below the basket that Davis jumped to block. Instead, he sniffed. Somehow, though, Davis showed off his balance for an instant recovery, turning 180 degrees and knocking Green out from empty range.
It was such a night for Davis, who scored 25 points and made 13 glass bounces, but his reverberation was felt in seven shares. (four blocks, three steals) he accumulated in 33 minutes. Draymond Green may consider himself the best defender in NBA history, but Davis has been creating a generation of gripes on Golden State’s perpetual motion offense.
Just eight percent of Golden State’s points came from charity, the lowest of any team in the post-season and half the percentage of Golden State’s free throws against Sacramento in the quarterfinals. In LA’s two wins, they’ve taken the lead 66 times to hit 27 Golden State free throws. That disparity underscores the defensive discipline that Davis and the Lakers have carried over three games. Davis became the ultimate bone key at the right time. Davis’ generational defense is LA’s driving force.
Golden State is an offensive juggler, but not invincible
A common misconception about Golden State offenses is that they are designed to give an open look to their otherworldly shooting team. In fact, the second purpose of stretching defenses to their limits is that they open up out-of-ball movements in favor of players rushing into the highlands. During the regular season, Golden State’s shooting rate in the arc is often among the highest in the league. Davis took down Golden State’s inside score. Their 47% shot rate in the arc would be the second-worst rate of any team in any round of this post-season.
The portfolio of generational paint defenders that have been the driving force behind championship teams since the ABA-NBA merger is brief. They aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as the attacking machines who make all shoe sales or boost ratings, but the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Anthony Davis are in the mix. a list of two-way big boys that have been the protagonists of championship teams. In 2020, Davis was on par with James. Now this is Davis’ team. The Lakers are only as good as Davis allows them to be.
Davis is the giant in 2020, leading all players with 30 blocks in 21 games. He surpassed that total in Game 1 of the Golden State series. The four blocks per game Davis averaged in the 2023 knockouts is three times the rate he’s denied shots in a criminally underrated 2020 performance. After giving the defending Defensive Player of the Year a clinic in the first round, Davis took on the defending champions. Golden State had a few answers to LA’s physicality or Davis’ length and versatility
The Lakers are on the lowest goal-to-court ratio of any team in the league, and Golden State’s 97 points in Game 3 are only the fourth time The Warriors have failed to cross the century mark this season. and Davis is the culprit. Their championship defense relies on life support, and unless Golden State comes up with a way to neutralize Davis in Game 5, this could be the end of this iteration of the Warriors as we know it. about them.
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