The Lakers (2-7) have a number of problems that have led to their slow start to the 2022-23 season. Chief among those issues is trying to get Anthony Davis more shots and touches in the second-half of games.
AD attempted two shots during the Lakers’ 114-110 home loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday. The 2011 national champion finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. Davis went 4-5 from the field during the first quarter as the Lakers outscored an opponent (36-30) for the first time this season. Davis then went 1-2 in the second, while the Lakers scored just 36 combined points during the second-half.
AD is averaging 22.5 points and 11.1 rebounds on 52.9 percent shooting from the field. The Lakers, especially LeBron James, have repeatedly mentioned wanting to run the offense through The Brow.
“Obviously, it starts with AD and getting him more touches,” LeBron James said via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “Our focal point is and always should be to make sure he touches the ball throughout the course of possessions, quarters, halves.”
When asked about getting Davis more involved, Coach Darvin Ham said that the Lakers have a playbook that features “a bunch of sets where AD can be featured.” Russell Westbrook said he would “leave it up to the coaches to figure out the best for them to utilize him.” Westbrook also admitted that he’s going to “do the best job” he can to make reads that will “make the game easier for him” while they’re on the court together.
Ham explained that veterans on the team, including Davis, have the ability to course-correct as they see fit.
“We have a playbook. We have a menu and a bunch of sets where AD can be featured,” Ham said. “You have to just be organized.”
Ham continued to touch on that point by saying Davis has his “blessing” to “scream out, call his own number” when he believes he has an ideal matchup. Ham also highlighted that the Lakers “tried to get” AD “going” and that their struggles in getting Davis going in the second-half aren’t from a lack of trying.
“And sometimes the game dictates things to go in another way. They go on a run, and then we’re trying to play faster to try to possibly score more. So it’s a lot of different variables that go into that. It’s not like, ‘OK, you’re just not calling plays for AD.’ That’s not the case.”