Since Anthony Davis made the leap from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers, debates have raged about where exactly the All-NBA caliber big man should play. Although he’s listed primarily as a power forward, he’s been a dominant force at center when he gets time at the position.
In his previous two season with Los Angeles, Davis has lined up mostly at the four, but headed into a new season it looks like will get more run at the five.
A report from The Athletic earlier this week implied that the Lakers plan to start games with Davis at center and use the eight-time All-Star primarily at that position throughout the upcoming season. The 28-year-old confirmed that he will slide over to the five on Tuesday during the organization’s Media Day.
“That was the expectation and that was discussed and I expect to play center. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen but me and Frank [Vogel] talked about it a couple of times and that’s the plan,” Davis said in a media session, per USA Today’s Mark Medina. “Right now nothing is set in stone, but we want to see what that looks like. I’m comfortable with that. Obviously there’s times where Dwight [Howard] or DJ [Deandre Jordan] might get the start at center, depending on the games. But, for the most part, I think the plan is to go with me playing center.”
Anthony Davis, at Lakers Media Day, acknowledges that he expects to play center this season.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 28, 2021
With Davis taking minutes primarily at the five, the Lakers can be comfortable playing Russel Westbrook and only having one below average three-point shooter on the floor in the starting line-up. A rotating cast of veteran wings, like Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza and Carmelo Anthony can round out the other two spots alongside, Davis, Westbrook and LeBron James to give Los Angeles a unique combination of size, defensive versatility and shooting.
Davis should be able to thrive at the center position as he can space the floor on offense, but still be an elite rim-protector on defense. With him at the five, the Lakers should be a much tougher match-up for opposing defenses and should be well-suited for a deep run in the Western Conference.