Anthony Davis is one of the most talented players in the league but has had issues staying healthy. Davis and the Lakers struggled last season, missing the playoffs entirely. Los Angeles came into the season among the title contenders but never found their footing.
Davis only appeared in 40 games, which was one of the reasons why LA couldn’t get going. In the games Davis played, he averaged 23.2 points along with 9.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He shot 53.2 percent from the field, 18.6 percent from three, and 71.3 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, Davis contributed with 2.3 blocks per game and 1.2 steals.
While the Lakers have some work to do, Davis should help them get back to playing at a high level. With that said, here are three bold reasons why Anthony Davis will win the 2022-23 NBA MVP.
Why Anthony Davis will win MVP
3. Davis’ two-way play
Something that separates Davis from some of the other stars in the league is his amazing play on both ends of the floor. In the 2019-20 season, Davis was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA and has the agility to defend perimeter players when needed. Offensively, Davis is a beast in the paint, with post moves that are difficult for defenses to contain. He has also had a good mid-range shot at times in his career, but his shooting numbers dropped last season.
Being able to play well on offense and defense can help give players an edge in the MVP case.
2. Lakers/Davis out for bounce-back season
Davis and the Lakers will be looking to silence the haters. Los Angeles has drastically changed their roster for the upcoming season, letting its veteran role players go in free agency. They went out and bolstered their roster up with young guys that can play with more energy and effort around the star duo of Davis and LeBron James.
Russell Westbrook remains the last Lakers domino facing uncertainty. Westbrook was not a great fit with LA in his first season and has been in trade rumors all offseason long. Los Angeles is linked with Kyrie Irving and Buddy Hield as their top targets in return for the 33-year-old guard.
Regardless of what happens with Westbrook, the Lakers should be a lot better. In the 2018-19 season, LeBron and the Lakers missed the postseason but came back the next year with Davis and won the championship.
Davis will be the driving force of a bounce-back year as Los Angeles will be looking to him to lead on both the offensive and defensive sides of the floor.
1. Lakers offense running through Davis
New head coach Darvin Ham and general manager Rob Pelinka met with LeBron, where they discussed various things. In the meeting, Ham brought up how he wants to run the offense through AD, which LeBron agreed with.
Chris Haynes reported that “the team has been encouraged with Davis’ offseason progression and believe he’ll be in optimum shape to avoid serious injuries and carry a heavier load.”
This is huge as Davis’ ability to stay on the floor is part of what has held the Lakers back over the past two seasons. Having plays and sets for Davis in the offense will help him be more comfortable offensively. Davis has also been training with LethalShooter, one of the most popular shooting coaches. If Davis can’t get back to shooting the mid-range efficiently and the three-ball at a higher clip, it will be near impossible for defenses to stop him.
Although Davis won’t be the favorite to bring home the MVP award, if he is healthy, he has a great shot at winning it.