Lakers

Arnab Bose

NBA

EXPLAINED: Why Charles Barkley Termed Anthony Davis As The Key To Lakers Success?

Anthony Davis has been the biggest pillar of the Los Angeles Lakers team ever since he joined in 2019. He made a wonderful duo with the all-time leading scorer, LeBron James, and helped the Lakers win their 17th title in 2020. Since then, the Purple and Gold Army heavily depended on the duo to stay healthy and take the team to the postseason. However, they have missed the chances once or twice.

For instance, the Lakers could not make the postseason in the 2021-22 season. That season, neither James nor Davis were perfectly healthy or played many games in the regular season. However, it is clear they have no intention of giving Anthony Davis up. Recently, Charles Barkley of TNT mentioned that he does not see the Lakers going anywhere without Anthony Davis playing like an MVP contender.

   

Lakers Need Anthony Davis To Perform At An MVP Level If They Want To Win The Title

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis Source: The Spun

On the Bill Simmons podcast, the NBA Legend mentioned the LA side is not close enough to a championship unless Anthony Davis performs at an MVP level. To perform at such a high level, the eight-time All-Star must stay healthy and play more than 65 games at least. With AD not healthy completely, the Lakers won’t go much further, as per Charles Barkley. Moreover, Barkley suggests the Lakers were lucky to reach the conference finals last time.

If Anthony Davis is the leader of the team, he must lead them all the way through without missing games for stress, injury, and other reasons. On the other hand, Kevin Garnett, another legend of the game, believes Anthony Davis must win an MVP in the next or the season after the next season. He really played well last year, leading the Lakers in defense as well as offense. Anthony Davis was the anchor of the defense, making the side the strongest defense in the season. Moreover, AD was also the spearhead of the attack. He became an incredible two-way player.   

The LA Side Looks Pretty Balanced In The Offseason

Lakers
Lakers Source: Los Angeles Times

Clearly, both AD and King James must be healthy and cannot afford to miss many games next season. Especially if the Lakers want to win the next championship next season. Moreover, the front office has been very successful in executing their plans well in the offseason. They have managed to keep the core together, more or less. Then, they acquired new talents like Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, and Taurean Prince. Moreover, the Lakers have the strength of young talents like Jalen Hood-Schifino and Jaxson Hayes.

On top of that, the 17-time champions are in search of a big man in the center. They have a few options to look at, like Christian Wood, Bismack Biyombo, and so on. However, the Lakers Nation will hope that the original starting lineup with James, Davis, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russell, along with bench strength in Rui Hachimura, will perform very well. However, experts believe the Lakers will mostly depend on Anthony Davis. Perhaps the Laker’s front office also thinks so. As a result, they extended AD’s contract for another three years as soon as he became eligible.