Paul Pierce says Anthony Davis is only player in NBA who can match up with Giannis Antetokounmpo

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read

Over the past few years, many people began doubting whether or not Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis had what it took to lead a contending team. Some people still believe that he is unable to do just that.

However, Davis has a lot of believers across the league. His recent games have shown that when he is locked in and healthy, the eight-time All-Star is almost unstoppable.

Paul Pierce recently said on Kevin Garnett’s podcast that this is the version of Davis the Lakers have been waiting for.

“But this is the version of A.D. the Lakers need,” Pierce said. “This is what we’ve been talking about. He needs to take over, be the guy. If A.D.’s the guy. If he’s in the MVP talks, then the Lakers got something.”

When Garnett asked if Davis will be able to sustain his string of strong performances this season, Pierce had high praises for the 2012 No. 1 draft pick.

“This the thing, K.G.,” Pierce replied. “We all know he was capable skill-wise, capable of this. It’s just about the mentality of going out there, doing it every night. He’s the only one in the league that can match up with Greek Freak (Giannis Antetokounmpo), and we say Greek Freak is the best player in the league.”

Davis had been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism the past two seasons because of his inability to stay on the court. Furthermore, when he was healthy, he didn’t seem as aggressive on either offense or defense as he used to be earlier in his career. The previous two campaigns saw the University of Kentucky product appear in just 76 games and average 22.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.

But in the 2022-23 season, Davis has looked rejuvenated, posting 28.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest. His efficiency from the field has also turned a lot of heads, as he has made a career-high 59.3 percent of his shots.

The four-time All-NBA selection is a huge reason why Los Angeles has been able to rise a bit in the standings after starting the season with a 2-10 record. The squad is currently 11-16 and still out of the playoff picture. But without an inspired Davis to lead the team, the Lakers might be further down the Western Conference standings.

One of their most impressive wins came against Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in early December. Davis had a huge game and seemed to prove Pierce’s statement about him being the only one who can go toe to toe with the two-time MVP.

In that matchup, Davis scored 44 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. The Bucks star also had a stellar night with 40 points, seven boards and five dimes.

Lakers fans are hoping that Davis can continue his strong showing this season. The team certainly needs him to do so to have a chance of making it back to the playoffs after missing out on the postseason in the 2021-22 campaign.

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