LOS ANGELES – Before the start of the 2019-20 season, Los Angeles Lakers newcomer Anthony Davis made it a goal to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year. That goal seems to be well within reach, with Davis putting on a defensive clinic on a nightly basis for the Lakers.
On Friday night, the Lakers played host to Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies. The rookie guard and the scrappy young squad saw firsthand the kind of defensive force Davis can be when locked in this season. The veteran forward finished with seven blocks on the night to go along with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and a steal leading Los Angeles to a relatively easy victory over Memphis at the Staples Center, 117-105.
“Another Defensive-Player-of-the-Year-type of night for Anthony,” Frank Vogel said of Davis. “He’s the best defender in the league. Simplest way to put it.”
With 47 games played in a Lakers uniform, Davis has arguably exceeded expectations as a dual-threat. He’s been a nightmare for opposing teams on both ends of the court, averaging 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game.
Even Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks was convinced that the regular-season award is Davis’ to win at this point.
“He’s probably going to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Brooks said of Davis.
Although there’s a lot of basketball left to be played during this first season with the Lakers, Davis has made a major impression with a supreme effort on both ends of the floor. The energy he brings night in and night out has helped this team become a defensive force in the NBA and may very well have him lifting the Defensive Player of the Year trophy later this year.