[CBS Sports] Lakers counting on MVP-level season from Anthony Davis, who was central to everything they did this offseason

[CBS Sports] Lakers counting on MVP-level season from Anthony Davis, who was central to everything they did this offseason


Dude AD has lebron, Russ, and to some extent Gasol to feed him. It’s gona be good This team comp went ALL IN on optimizing our 28yo generational talent


I think Gasol can do so much more with us. He has that ability. Either he isn't playing the way he should or Vogel isn't utilizing him right.


We didn’t have the right team to compliment him last year. Now he can be brought in to stretch the floor. Dwight will be brought in for defense. This new team is MUCH better with Marc on it to stretch the floor!


Sorry to be that guy, but it’s “complement,” like complementary colors for example. “Compliment” would only be used for like polite praise. Anyway, I agree with everything you said, I just hope it’s not too late for Gasol. I feel like last year a lot of age started to show, but he did have some stretches of brilliance. Hopefully he can find his rhythm this season


Oh no thanks for telling me I’m using it wrong. I’d rather not keep making that mistake. Thanks! And yeah — he was getting hunted on defense by suns


Real father hours


Father Time is undefeated


You being that guy just taught me something so thanks for bringing it up


AD/Bron/Gasol/Russ/Then a 3andD (assume Bazemore at this point) to start. Russ/Howard/Nunn/Anthony/Ariza or Monk as second squad. It should flow MUCH better than last year and I already trust that secondary unit to maintain leads, which could result in more AD and Bron leaving the game early in the 4th, which would be amazing.


When will Russ rest


When Bron Comes back in lol. I’m just tossing up ideas, and there will be overlaps etc, but obviously will all be subjective and minutes will change. We just need one of those two on the floor


I can see that working with a healthy Lakers squad.


When he retires


I think Russ and Gasol // Nunn and Dwight will see a lot of time together.


If Russell starts, there isn't enough shooting on the floor with Gasol in. I love the roster additions, but Anthony is going to have to play the the 5 when Russell and LeBron are both playing.


Weeelll.....Gasol is great in a few situations. But he is also legit old and slow. If he's in with a slower squad in general we could get run ragged on transition.


Well at least on offense he doesn't ever have to be in the paint. He should be in the paint on defense and when he runs to the other end of the floor he should stop at the 3 point line, so maybe consistently traveling only 3/4s of the court will be helpful to him lol


Considering his age, he played great in limited minutes. Expecting him to play big minutes is not good tho.


Vogel wants the Lakers to be a "dynamic fast break team" with Russ. Having an oil tanker like Marc out there will really slow them down. There's something to be said about doubling down on your strengths. So what if we start with our "bigger, faster, stronger" lineup: LBJ, AD, Russ, Dwight, and either Monk or Bazemore and just bludgeon teams to death for the first 6 minutes of every game? Spacing would be shit but it would set a physical tone for the game that few teams can match.


The danger here is the finals gambit MIL faced this year: It's really hard to trade 2s for 3s. MIL made it work deploying world class defenders to pressure Booker into contested midrange jumpers. Who are the lockdown perimeter guys in that LAL lineup who are going to do this?




Cool, and then after a staggered pick and a ball screen?


AD? LeBron?


Ariza ain't too shabby either & Russ's defensive problems are not on-ball, I'm more worried about teams forcing him into switching onto a movement shooter. We will need at least one of the young guards, preferably 2, of the 3 young guards (THT, Nunn, & Monk) to step up & be slightly above average defensively.


Yeah Russ needs to be a point of attack defender.


Bucks won because offensive rebounding


Gasol is a great outlet passer if Russ or LBJ dont get the rebound & walking into trailing 3s on the secondary break is how the Bucks use Lopez a good bit.


Compared to Gasol, Lopez is Usain Bolt 😂


He’s slow, hit all time career lows last year and is going to be 37 in obvious decline. Adjust your expectations to reality. He’s a low minutes guy who can help in certain situations but he’s not that guy from 3 years ago.


Why do people put so much hope in Gasol? Just cause he was better then Drummond doesnt mean he is good. Put your faith in Dwight not Gasol.


we can do both


Every player has their role. Having faith in all your players for their role is needed. We need Dwight to be our rim protector and main center. As for Gasol, we could use him for another role. He can provide spacing a little bit of playmaking. He doesnt need to be our primary center but we should have a solid backup. Its never bad to count on all your players.


It's probably just because we desperately need spacing. Last year's starting 5 of Dennis KCP Lebron AD and Gasol were still pretty good. Adding Drummond really negatively affected Dennis, and it'd just be rough to run out there with Westbrook, Lebron, AD, and Dwight, which basically means we're relying on one player to hit a 3.




Is our generational talent gonna play Center this year?


Yeah I think our generational talent will play some 5


When we have both Gasol and Dwight? Probably gonna be similar to when we had JaVale and Dwight


he gets hurt landing, ad body is built like kyrie's, he is just soft. it seems like every playoff game he is limping or making a face of how he just got hurt


AD only needs to remain healthy. That’s it. If that means he only plays 60 games that more than fine.


It's to note that AD has 4 All-NBA selections, and all of them are First Teams. When he has a fully healthy season, he's top 5. The ONLY thing that's ever held him back has been his health. Not his jump-shooting, not his _softness_ (god i hate that word), not his teammates. If AD is healthy, nobody beats us.


Thats an interesting stat and just shows how injury-prone he is. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be


Not that bad actually, one ring in two years. You should try having him on your team I highly recommend it


I bet the pelicans feel the same. Wait.


I couldn’t give a single shit what Pelicans fans think


I could see them winning up to 65 games if everyone remains healthy, Westbrook balls out when AD & Bron are out, and bubble AD wasn't just a fluke.


I love optimism but our roster is still worse than a Westbrook wizards roster if Bron and AD sit out.


Hot take right there. Our teams worse than the wizards if 60 million of our cap is out. Shocker…


Exactly my point, so we can’t really expect Westbrook to get us Wins with both of LeBron and AD out.


I think they mean out like when they’re on the bench , not for injuries


Oh i’m retarded. I thought he meant with Bron and AD taking off games and us still making it to 65 wins.


You're forgetting how great the Wizards were balling out at the end of last season.


I was confused too don’t worry playa


God damn you're stupid


Caught it off your mom.


Westbrook had 0 big men to work with for his second half explosion. Thomas Bryant looked like an all star for the month when he was playing with Westbrook. AD is going to fucking eat this year.


Oh hell yeahhh, I expect AD to average like 28 at least.


Hope those 22 games missed are closer to the beginning of the season than the end.


Right. We also have Bron and Brodie. AD trying to be the MVP is a recipe for disaster.


This is why the Westbrook trade made more sense than the Hield move. With Russ on the team, Lakers have two elite level playmakers who theoretically, AD should always be on the court with. If the Lakers kept Hield, they likely have KCP+Schroder+Hield. Schroder displayed in the playoffs that he isn't capable of leading the offense when Bron was out. Hield is a great shooter but if he's off, what is he providing? At least Russ can still create and affect the game in other ways. Priority for the Lakers seemed to be: Get another elite playmaker who can create for others while Bron is out while also making sure that shooters are getting good shots. Schroder wasn't generating good shots for the team and Hield wouldn't have been able to do that.


Even if AD misses some games, Russ is so good with centers that he can get major major value out of Dwight and any other center that can play good minutes in his absence.


So true, Russ gets value out of everyone.


We’ll have WB+Dwight against bench and second units, and WB+AD is just insane. That said we def should avoid WB, Bron, AD and Dwight at the same time because of the horrid spacing. Gasol might be better to start because he can space the floor, and Dwight came off the bench for Embiid last year. Rest Gasol and Bron early, keep WB+2 shooters+AD and Dwight, sit Davis a bit after that. No need for all of them to be on the floor all the time during the regular season, gotta stay healthy and the chemistry will be there.


I bet you anything that that will be the closing lineup more often than not. Gasol starts, Dwight closes.


I don’t think so. Closing line up is AD at the 5.


Lets see what he does when the season starts...


Rarely will happen


Y'all do know he played 40% of his minutes at the 5 in 2019-20, right? Him playing 16-18 mpg at the 5 while Gasol & Dwight split the other 30-32 mpg depending on need isnt that outlandish.


Fr lol. And we’re talking about closing line up. So last 5 mins. Only time Dwight should close is like against 6ers


Why would Dwight close when we have AD? If it’s a close game there’s no reason to have two centers out, especially since AD said he would play the 5 more this year.


Because it's happened before. There was a playoff series where Dwight barely played and there were others where Dwight was a very important piece. And he played next to AD. It could work


Just because it could work doesn't mean it should be. Dwight rarely closed close games, having a center that can’t space the floor with Bron, AD and WB is pointless. Those 3 guys need space to operate and as is because they live in the paint AD is a significantly better defender in the clutch. They used Dwight as a shot blocker and him and Gasol are there tire out opposing centers and use their fouls so AD doesn’t have to bang down low and use his fouls.


I'd rather start Dwight. AD closes at the 5 like during the title winning season. Marc plays situationally.


I agree. I thought the most important move the Lakers could have made this offseason was to get a playmaker to set up AD


Dude, YES! I never liked the Lakers getting Hield because of what you said, “if he’s off, what’s he providing?” Westbrook gives the team 110% effort every time he’s on the floor so having him play make on the floor while Bron is out is what we needed.


So dumb. Hield would always provide spacing even if he's shooting badly. Teams would always respect him.


Yeah but our entire roster is basically gravity now aside from tht russ and dwight


Okay so say he's off but is providing spacing, what does that help if AD and Bron go down with injuries for 20+ games this year?


Hield needs plays made for him i.e. the burden would fall on LeBron all over again to be 100% healthy all the time and to make 100% of the plays for the Lakers team. Russ has alot of warts but he can playmake with the best of them.


Yes I agree


My guy gets it! Couldn’t agree more


We don’t need Hield at all now. We got like 7 quality dudes whose total yearly salary combined is less than his. And these guys can play defense. While Hield may be a better pure shooter we have better options and role players.


All of the role players we signed are bad defenders just like Hield.


> Hield is a great shooter but if he's off, what is he providing? He would still provide spacing. Defenses will always respect him.


That's fine but what have we seen in Sacramento in which they have been struggling awfully despite Hield being such a good shooter? There's a ceiling to his game that wouldn't be able to help carry the Lakers offense in a way that they would need if Bron is resting or \*knock on wood\*, gets injured and has to be sidelined for a few games. I would have very little confidence in a Lakers team without Bron and Hield as the 2nd best player on the Lakers. At least with Westbrook being the 2nd best player behind AD (if Bron is out), you can expect the Lakers to still be a very good team.


You could apply that same logic to Westbrook given how bad the Wizards were. Both the Kings and Wizards were 30 win teams. If Lebron is out the Lakers will be ass. We're not contending for a championship with either of our real stars injured.


That's because Russ was dealing with injuries early in the season. Check their win rate when he became healthy. The 2nd half of the season, Wizards played a lot better. Plus, that Wizards team was absolute garbage and only won 25 games the season prior to Westbrook getting there. Kings have been notoriously garbage with Hield for every year he has been there.


The Wizards roster without Westbrook is better than the Kings roster without Hield. You're also ignoring our team needs and fit. We need shooting more than we need playmaking. We could have gotten someone like Lou Williams or Patty Mills for secondary playmaking. Even Kendrick Nunn would be enough. Westbrook also put the team in the luxury tax. Without him we don't cheap out on Caruso so our defense is better too. Better defense, better shooting, and good enough secondary playmaking without Westbrook. Signing Westbrook as insurance for Ad/Lebron injuries is not worth it. We're not contenders with one of those two injured even with Westbrook so what's the point? It's better to be bad and get a lottery pick in that case.


Lol, I'm not going to argue with you about who has a better team impact between Westbrook and Hield. We all know the answer to that question and this is just getting to the point where you are making ridiculous statements to push some sort of narrative that doesn't really exist.


Yeah because you can't argue with the facts.


Westbrook is 10x the player Heild will ever be. Just stop. You'll be eating crow when the Lakers win the chip


Doesn't mean he fits 10x better. Lakers could win the chip with either Westbrook or Hield. Could have won it with Drummond and Trezz too. Doesn't make those signings good.


Beautifully put. I was always so confused about the immediate disappointment of Lakers going for Russ instead of Hield when the moves were announced. Like, were you conscious last season? Wtf is Hield gonna do for us if/when AD goes down with an injury and possibly forbid) Lebron too? Especially if the next best player on the squad is a Schröder dropping 0 points in a game. We \*need\* Russ to take that heat off both AD/Bron. If AD or Bron goes down we still have a world class player to compete. Not some shooter that given Lakers curse is going to join our team and just throw up bricks.




kobe used to shoot even when he’s cold lol, you can’t get out of that slump if you don’t keep shooting




You can have an opinion. It’s just stupid and wrong


You can definitely have an opinion. Can I ask you to further your stance though on how Dennis would be a better fit with AD


AD is the fucking centerpiece of our entire championship aspirations. If he balls out like the beast he is we're winning the chip. Dude made it look easy in 2020. It ain't easy.


He was seriously competing for FMVP with LeBron fucking James until he injured his heel. It's wild how everyone forgot how big time this guy was in the bubble. Edit - the first 2 games AD was insane: * game 1 - 34-9-5 with 3 blocks * game 2 - 32-14-1, he was 15/20 fga **!!** This is the team that just stopped Giannis and AD was scoring >30 ppg to this point. Then AD stumbled and got in foul trouble in the 1Q of g3 and went just 15 pts on 6/9 shooting. Game 3 AD is +17 on 22-9-4. Game 5 AD re-injures his heel and tries to play through it. LeBron has his insane back and forth with Jimmy Butler but Lakers lose because of a DG missed 3. At this point its looking like LBJ is the FMVP as long as he doesn't choke and AD pops off. G6 LBJ gets a triple double and wins FMVP.


AD shut teams down practically by himself. On the other end, he's a lob threat every time down.


Game 4 AD was the one he singlehandedly shut down Jimmy, it was a defensive masterclass https://youtube.com/watch?v=k0tn9QRJMec


AD needs to remain healthy and play more physically. We can't be having our youngest star of the Big 3 missing more games than the older guys.


Howard will take a lot of regular season playtime pressure from AD. Let's keep him healthy and rested for the playoffs.






LeBron is still the best player in this team. He is the alpha dog until he retires (AD needs to step up tho)


AD is fucking legit. Its just his injuries that slow him down.


People say this every offseason but it's never true. If Lebron is healthy he's still the best player in the league.


Lol nah


Maybe we need to start seeing AD owning the team, idk. In my town when you're the best in the team you prove it, thing he didn't.


Exactly. AD had potential to be the best player in the LEAGUE but if he csnt stay healthy it doesn't matter how good he is. Hes gotta prove he wants to be number 1 but taking care of his body.


Everyone still puts Kawhi high on lists and he’s been way more injured.


That’s not even a good argument considering Kawhi has 2 finals MVPs and multiple DPOY’s. My bad 2 rings not 3.


What's Kawhi's third ring? Just spurs and raps.


3 rings? He only won '14 and '19


Injuries aren't always a question if taking care of yourself. Tom Brady and Lebron are as lucky as anything else.


But maximizing your health is the best you can do. Resting, rehab, and whatever goes a long way.


Ok but he probably does that.


these people act like he willfully ignores his training and tries to get injured lol


U cant compare lebron to ad. This guy has greatest physicality of all time in nba history


I don't think it's just that. Sure, in the first ring he was very good, but an aging LeBron, if he wanted, was clearly the best player on the team and it wasn't about injuries. And I kinda laughed to the idea that LeBron wouldn't maximize his effort when it counts because AD is the future, like LeBron would ever give only half putting his team in potential problematic situation (that's not how things work like we saw with the dude snatching the FMVP). Dude's 28, is far from being a blue chipper at this age, there isn't much potential left, he's a made player in every sense. It's kinda unfair because he has to "battle" Lebron for that title in our perception, but maybe he isn't all that in the sense of not being better the old man like people want him to be.




AD: I’m the Captain now


This is very far from the truth. Everyone keeps trying to make this happen but AD isnt a 1A guy. He’s a 1B guy and an elite one at that, but idk if he’ll ever be the leader of a championship team.


No this is lebron's team


AD is the gonna be the best player on this team this year


He should be he's 28 and should be able to carry the load. LeBron probably finally takes a backseat scoring and let AD and Russ carry the load. Don't be shocked if LeBron is a 20ppg guy this year.


Sounds so weird. JUST 20 ppg from a 36 year old guy. He’s blessing for sport


He will be 37 but yeah I agree.


I’m tryna see 19/11/8 from Old Man Bron


Doesn't LeBron have some stat of like 17 seasons averaging 25+ppg or something like that? If I remember correctly he's aware of that stat and I'd guess he'd be motivated to keep it in tact this season


Yeah he literally checked back in to get a few buckets to keep his season average at 25 in the last game of the season lol


I’d be incredibly shocked if LeBron only averages 20’a game this season. He’s the best scorer out of all three. Westbrook should be the one shooting less.


Won't happen. LeBron trying to keep 27/7/7 alive


After THT you mean


[X] to doubt


You got 7 downvotes for saying you doubt it haha. Thats dumb. Here's an upvote to offset.


Username checks out here boys, keep it moving.


His FTs need to bounce back hurt seeing a 80+ guy drop to 73 out of nowhere.


He shot 35 of 41 in the playoffs which is 85%. Only 5 games but it gave a lil’ hope


ALL of his shooting percentages were down last year from everywhere on the floor, and then he got hurt. It was a very, very bad season for him and erased any memory fans had of him in the bubble. He can definitely be the best player on this team with an aging LeBron. Remember he was ranked as the second best player after the bubble and a lot of fans expected an MVP-type season back then. Idk about MVP this year though like the article says. MVP's just don't happen on big 3 teams unless its Miami Heat LeBron.


I think the addition of Westbrook is going to help AD a lot. I did a small [write up](https://www.degensportshub.com/2021-nba-offseason/off-season-special-pt-i) on it and I feel the play making ability of Westbrook will really help him out.


Good write up!


Thank you, I appreciate that. I am going to try and keep up on doing some write ups as the year goes on. Feel free to take a look at the rest of the site, we have been working a lot on the NFL since the season is kicking off. Feedback is appreciated.


We been waiting on that for 10 years from AD.


This is what I’ve been saying since the loss to the Suns. AD coming back huge next year is the most important thing. He needs to be a night in night out beast, no soft games in the playoffs, no reality checks.


No, he needs take it easy in the regular season and save himself for the playoffs. I don't care if we are the 8th seed.


You could do some minute managing and test games etc. to prevent him from wearing down. I’m talking about him being more dedicated to his fitness and strength so those concerns are lessened. I think he needs to develop to be more of a constant focal point and bringer of energy and hustle to get the team where it needs to be to compete with the other elite contenders.


I think bringing in Westbrook is an admission that AD is not that guy. Otherwise we sign Hield. Yes, he can improve his fitness but I wouldn't play him more than 33 minutes a night and would consider load managing him ala Kawhi.


I mean no shit? You can't win a championship if you aren't healthy and your star isnt playing at an MVP level. Barring other teams breaking down injury wise.


“MVP” season = stay on the floor, not be Anthony “Day to Day” Davis


ADPOY incoming !!


If he just plays like he did in 2019-2020 we can easily win a championship. I don’t even think he has to be an MVP finalist. It’s all about health and consistency for him, he’s got all the talent in the world


AD should only play limited games. He can’t stay healthy


I don't like this. AD is not a player that you ride through out a regular season. Hes more like a Kawhi, save him and rest him until the real season.




He can do it if he doesn't play too much center


Casual here, but genuine question. Would the Russ move not mean that LeBron and AD cruise throughout the regular season? I thought the Russ move means that the two guys take the back seat until the play offs


They probably mean they hope for him to be in top shape throughout the season. Last year he looked to come in a bit heavier and played himself into shape but lots of injuries.


He just needs to be mvp level in the post season we have enough for the regular season


This is just one guys opinion. Not from the Lakers.


They realize he won’t be healthy for half the season right?


Same headline from the last two seasons.


No all he needs to do is remain healthy


arnt these the same website that has us 5th in the power rankings? i dont their opinion matters


AD just need to stay healthy. That's all Lakers need.


We sure are. AD’s play last year has me a little worried ngl. Hope he bounces back




AD only plays well when he plays less. He breaks down full season it seams, I wonder if it is smarter to rest him a few months before playoffs so he goes into playoffs 100% well rested. Remember his best year was when he didn't play like almost all the season lol.


This just in: team needs best player to be their best player!


“Tears ligament. Out for season.”


Shiiiiii…As am I. He’s going to kill next season.


AD should take it easy in the regular. I don't care about MVPs. Playoffs are all that matter. Especially, now that we also have Russ. Dumb article.


Those are some high expectations on someone who’s never won an MVP Edit: more realistic to me would be All-NBA, but what do I know lol


If healthy, he's capable of it.


That is a HUGE if. He has never been healthy. His BEST seasons were 17 and 18 and he played 75 games. Counting on him for health is pointless.


He had mvp level seasons, his 2018 campaign, especially after Boogie went down, was the next best thing to watch after Lebron’s domination of the east. Both were beaten by Harden in the mvp votings. The 2020 season should’ve seen him be rewarded for at least his defense but the lakers tax made Giannis have both trophies, although he had a great argument for DPOY as well.


I'm not saying he's not a stud, I just have never seen him as "best player in the league", so it seems kind of crazy to expect that of him. Clearly I'm in the wrong on this with the downvotes, so I'll probably delete lol


don’t worry lol, I agree, AD being the best in the league never a thing, but it’s now or never I guess


Downvotes like crazy. Here's an upvote. Its definitely a lot of pressure and we've only seen him step up in that pressure once...and they won it all. Obviously he can do it, but will he again?


We fucked


CBS Sports next report will be the Chiefs are counting on Patrick Mahomes to have a MVP level season. I think it is more than obvious that health of the big 3 will be crucial


Well duh


I'm warming to the Westbrook trade. I feel like adding a shooter like Hield would have made the team better in any single game, but by taking a load off of LeBron/AD in the regular season, Westbrook can give us a better team across an entire playoff series. It seems like this is a bet by the front office that a healthy LeBron and AD are going to be enough by themselves to get us another championship.


Shhhhit I was so hyped for the NBA season last year. This coming year is 2.0.


I feel like everything with the Lakers always hinges on ADs health, but this roster is better equipped if he needs to rest and provides more support when he’s on the floor. Last years team put all the pressure on him without facilitating his strengths.


AD has never played with a PG as good as Russ and inversely Russ has never played with a big man as good as AD — just gotta stay healthy and LA winning banner #18


I’m just excited not to see the teams offensive production plummet when LBJ or AD is off. WB is a true game changer for the team. He could win games all by himself and that’s going to be GREAT for lebron who will need more rest and AD will be able to feast all the time regardless if lebron in. Win win trade for the Lakers. WE FLIPPED OUR BENCH INTO AN MVP AND OUR BENCH GOT BETTER 😭 PELINKA GOAT


this is what I was thinking the moment we got Russ in the trade


GO AD!!!


Imagine if AD quit playing video games and spent that time doing weight training and physical therapy to strengthen his legs. He just might make it through a season playing more than 75 games.


Bro his body needs time to actually rest and recover, if he’s constantly training it then injuries will stack up even worse


I mean yeah


Fucking finally, some accountability.


I'd love to see Bron and Russ feed AD all season. I think if AD stays healthy and Bron and Russ focus on the goal of AD winning MVP, AD should win MVP easy.