Doc Rivers says Anthony Davis is more of a Scottie Pippen

Michael Kaskey-Blomain
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star center Anthony Davis has been billed as a top offensive option throughout his career. However, Doc Rivers thinks that Davis is more like Scottie Pippen: a defensive-minded player better suited as a sidekick on the offensive end.

“I’ve been watching him,” Rivers said of Davis. “I look at AD (Davis) now, and I said, ‘AD is more Pippen.’ And we don’t understand that. AD won a national title scoring six points. He dominated defensively.”

Rivers admitted that he has changed the way that he views the Lakers center. He spent the previous decade coaching against Davis.

“Now he’s playing with a guy that is 1A, and he’s like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do what it takes,'” Rivers added of Davis. “There are nights you want him to be more aggressive. But it has changed me a little bit on that, just watching him.”

There are some similarities between Pippen and Davis, including being dominant defensively. Both players also found success playing alongside the biggest stars of their respective eras.

Pippen won six championships serving as the sidekick to Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls, and Davis won a title with the Lakers for the 2019-20 season suiting up next to LeBron James. As a result, Pippen never established himself as the best player on a championship team. Similarly, Davis has yet to show that he can be the top option on a title team, though he still has time to do so.

Pippen was probably a bit more durable than Davis, who has struggled with injury issues throughout his career. However, Davis is a better offensive player than Pippen ever was. Pippen averaged 16.1 points over the course of his career, while Davis’ career average is 24.0.

Pippen also averaged over 20 points per game just four times in his career. Davis has already done so 11 times. His rookie campaign in 2012-13 is the only season that Davis failed to average at least 20 points per performance.

Davis has been very solid for the Lakers so far this season. In 30 appearances, he’s averaged 24.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in 35.5 minutes per performance. He’s also shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from long range.

L.A. will need Davis to continue playing at a high level if it hopes to climb up the standings in the extremely competitive Western Conference and make a deep playoff run. The Lakers currently sit eighth in the West with a record of 17-15.

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Michael has been covering the NBA since before the league vetoed Chris Paul's trade to the Lakers. Prior to writing for Lakers Daily, he covered the league for outlets including FanSided, 247 Sports and CBS Sports.