For the first time in his seven-year career, Anthony Davis can take some plays off now that he’s playing alongside LeBron James for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite Davis having scored only six points at halftime against the Golden State Warriors in Wednesday’s preseason game, his new team was up by 26 points thanks to James and an assortment of veteran teammates who are accustomed to winning.
“It takes a load off me,” Davis said about having more help. “It feels good knowing that you don’t have to do much. Everybody has a role, and when you have guys all over the board who can score the basketball, you don’t need to do everything every possession.”
This was one of Davis’ key takeaways from the Lakers’ 126-93 win, their third in as many tries this preseason against the Warriors — the team that has won three championships this past decade.
James also commented on the change for Davis, offering both insight and praise.
“He has seen multiple defenders for seven straight years in New Orleans,” James said. “He is able to read the defense. He can create for himself any time. There are not many guys in our league that can affect the game the way AD does. He can score, rebound and pass. He just does it at a high level.”
For his part, James played just 25 minutes, but racked up 18 points and 11 assists in Wednesday’s game nonetheless.
Though he may not need to do as much as before when he was playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, the six-time All-Star will have to carry a bigger burden than most on this Lakers squad. After all, the Purple and Gold didn’t sacrifice three of its top young players and multiple draft picks to acquire him just so he can take it easy on the floor.
Davis knows that the pressure to win is greater regardless of the lesser load on his shoulders. The stakes are higher, but at least Davis has more help now than he has ever had before.