Is Anthony Davis Scrutinized More Than Other Stars? Plus, Damian Lillard defends LA's Bubble Title.
Jeanie Buss was a guest on The Athletic's NBA podcast, and had some interesting stuff to say about Anthony Davis. Namely that for the stretch of play last season after he returned from injury (the big one, where he missed 20 games), AD was the best player in the league.
It's not worth debating the point in the most literal sense - everyone remembers how dominant Davis was over that period - but it illustrates how individual the conversation is around Davis. Obviously the expectations he carries are justifiably high, but at the same time, is there to much focus on what he's not doing vs. what he is?
You'd think, for example, that based on last year's arc that there would be a notable difference between Davis's first and second half stats, but they looked basically the same. So is AD being judged more on optics than results? Well, sort of. Because sometimes with Davis, the optics dictate the result. Few players can put up games with identical numbers but totally non-identical impact like Davis. So between that and the natural inclination to believe he's about to get hurt (it's a defense mechanism for many Lakers fans to prep themeselves for a letdown) and his freakish talent at his full capacity that makes him seem like an alien, maybe that explains the discourse?
Finally, Damian Lillard seemed to find some (non-trade related) controversy when he said it was easier to win in the Bubble. But as he clarified, he didn't mean easier to win a title. In fact, winning a title in Orlando was actually harder, because all the advantages a 1 seed like the Lakers would have had were stripped away. Home floor, home crowd, less travel, and so on.
It may have been contextually unrepeatable - the Lakers (God willing) will never have a chance like that to rest their stars before the postseason starts... but then again EVERYONE got to get healthy. And moreover, the Lakers rolled through the playoffs that year. 4-1, 4-1, 4-1, 4-2.
So can we finally put this question to bed?
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
SEGMENT 1: Why do we talk differently about Anthony Davis than other stars?
SEGMENT 2: Is it fair? What is, and what isn't, and what is the biggest flaw in how fans and media judge him?
SEGMENT 3: Dame defends the Bubble Championship.
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