Anthony Davis attracts rave reviews from LeBron James, Lakers …

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it’s arduous to name the Lakers’ 105-96 win over the Nuggets on Tuesday a statement sport. The Lakers are a league-highest 18-three. they have two of one of the best avid gamers on this planet. profitable a game, even towards a excellent team on the street, is not a observation for guys like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

they have got bigger objectives in thoughts. 

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Anthony Davis draws rave evaluations from LeBron James, Lakers …

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That said, the Lakers were cruising via a particularly smooth time table stretch. previous to this win in Denver, the Lake express hadn’t crushed a present profitable crew because approach again on Nov. 8, once they defeated Miami. Their recent 10-game win streak used to be bookended by means of losses to the Raptors and Mavericks. 

So popping out and beating the Nuggets, the No. 3 workforce in the Western conference with a file of thirteen-5, on the highway, is certainly worth noting — specifically for the reason that Lakers did it with a couple of players experiencing flu-like symptoms. one of those gamers was Davis, who was ill in bed all day and had to get IV treatment at halftime. 

Anthony Davis attracts rave reviews from LeBron James, Lakers …

come what may, Davis nonetheless managed to play 36 minutes at a mile-excessive altitude, posting 25 factors and 10 rebounds whereas making timely shielding plays far and wide the courtroom. His teammates observed. From invoice Oram of The Athletic:

… as Davis headed to the bench for a timeout late in the Lakers’ most impressive win up to now, he had the power to bellow, “First team All-security!”

Alex Caruso, who had just fouled out, corrected him.

“I was telling him, ‘No,'” Caruso said. “‘participant of the 12 months.'”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel also chimed in:

“he is guarding their two easiest players,” coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “Jokic, single coverage, everyone’s staying home. And Jamal Murray taking him to the basket and he is making protecting play after protective play. He was once prominent. For him to play thru sickness and have that roughly efficiency was something special.”

And LeBron James:

“he is been doing all of it 12 months,” he stated. “playing thru accidents, taking part in via illness like he did tonight. protecting participant of the year and he showed tonight once once more enjoying one on one vs. Joker within the post. When there were switches happening with Jamal Murray, playing one-on-one versus a small. obtained cease after stop after stop. just a monster sport for him.”

nevertheless it was once Rajon Rondo who gave Davis the best possible praise, saying that at this time he has Davis as each the league MVP and the protecting player of the year. once more from Oram:

he’s a great-elite player, if no longer the very best player in the sport at the moment as we discuss. So i’m not surprised that he played neatly tonight.”

Wait. Did Rondo simply call Davis the best player in the sport? Did he imply simply defensively or …?

“i would say general,” he mentioned. “He calls for a double group every evening. he is shooting the three now. He makes plays for his teammates. an ideal chief, on and off the floor. I mean, I obtained him as MVP and defensive participant of the yr.”

by the way, our first MVP rankings of the season right here at CBS sports activities got here out on Tuesday, and that i did not embrace Anthony Davis within the top five. Rondo clearly disagrees, however the numbers and eye test will tell you LeBron is the MVP of this workforce and is naturally the more possible candidate of the 2 to win the league-wide award. that could trade, obviously, and games like this may occasionally help Davis’ lead to. but at the moment he’s seemingly no longer an MVP entrance-runner. 

As for DPOY, that’s a special story. i might put Davis proper there with Rudy Gobert, Marcus good and Ben Simmons. The Lakers were an elite security all season, and Davis is the centerpiece round which all of it revolves. On Tuesday, he was instrumental in protecting Nikola Jokic to thirteen points on 4-of-12 shooting (Jokic’s lethargy this season is a whole other story); by way of guarding Jokic one on one, the Lakers’ wing defenders might stay at house on shooters fairly than having to double workforce. 

And he was a one-man brick wall at the rim:

Davis was leading the league in blocks coming into Tuesday, and even when he’s no longer in fact swatting photographs away, he’s changing them, if not deterring them altogether. He can guard on the perimeter on switches. He communicates. he is been a protecting monster all season, and while the offense is not fairly at LeBron’s stage, it’s obviously elite as smartly. Davis is definitely one of the seven or eight absolute best gamers within the league. Tuesday used to be just the newest example of his two-way dominance. 

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