When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Anthony Davis during the offseason, there was talk that the Lakers offensive focus would shift from LeBron James to their newly acquired All-Star big man.
On Sunday, the Lakers provided a taste of what that dynamic might look like.
Anthony Davis dominates first 3 quarters
For much of the Lakers’ 120-101 win over the Charlotte Hornets, their offense ran through James but ended with Davis buckets. James took on the role of facilitator and attempted just seven shots through the game’s first three quarters while tallying six points and 10 assists.
Davis, meanwhile, had hit 10-of-18 field goal attempts for 29 points.
James takes over in 4th
But when James subbed in for Davis to start the fourth quarter, he took over on offense in a pivotal stretch that increased the Lakers’ 87-80 lead well into double digits. When Davis returned to the court with 5:43 remaining, Los Angeles had stretched its lead to 106-91. Both players remained on the court until the final 2:20 as the Lakers secured their victory before emptying the bench.
It was a potential blueprint for how the Lakers will run their offense behind their new superstar tandem.
James finished the night with 20 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, while Davis tallied 29 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Davis posted 19 shots from the floor to James’ 14. Davis finished 6-for-6 from the line while James hit all five of his attempts.
And, most importantly for the Lakers, they secured a convincing victory.
Sign of things to come?
Of course there will be games where James is the focus. Matchups and game flow will dictate how the Lakers offense operates on any given night.
James outshot Davis 22 to 17 and outscored him 32 to 21 during Friday’s 95-86 win over the Utah Jazz — a game where points inside were considerably harder to come by with defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert manning the paint for Utah.
The Lakers are three games into an 82-game season and are sure to tinker with different dynamics focusing on James and Davis.
For a Lakers team that long-coveted bringing Davis aboard, it’s a challenge they will surely relish.
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