LeBron James Calls Anthony Davis Defensive Player of the Year - Lakers Daily

LeBron James Calls Anthony Davis Defensive Player of the Year

Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Jimmy Butler Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was already a big fan of teammate Anthony Davis and is now promoting the superstar big man as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.

James delivered the compliment in the wake of another outstanding performance by Davis, who was acquired during the offseason in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

In a 112-107 Lakers victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Davis collected four steals and blocked a pair of shots in an all-around effort. He also scored 34 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists in the game.

The defensive showing was nothing out of the ordinary for Davis, who currently leads the NBA in blocked shots per game with a 3.1 average, while also picking up an average of 1.4 steals per game. Prior to this season, Davis had led the league twice in total blocked shots and three times in average shots blocked per game. He’s also been a part of three All-Defensive teams.

The tandem of Davis and James has delivered at such a high level that the Lakers currently have the best record in the league at 12-2. Davis has dealt with health issues related to his thumb and shoulder already this year, though he appears to be doing just fine on the court.

In Davis’ 13 games this year, he’s averaging 25.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game. The cost to acquire the perennial All-Star was high, but the early returns appear to show that the investment was worth the price.

After facing the Thunder at Staples Center on Tuesday night, the Lakers will play against the Thunder once again in Oklahoma City on Friday night.