CHICAGO (AP) – Anthony Davis knows it smoothly. For years he has made basketball look simple, from his beginnings in his hometown of Chicago to the fame of the NBA.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "When it comes to his seemingly effortless transition to life with the Los Angeles LakersDavis sounds like it’s not a big deal. After all, what he does is smooth. “Data-reactid =” 32 “> When it comes to his seemingly effortless transition to life with the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis sounds like it’s not a big deal – after all, what he does is smooth.
” (It was) very natural. I think the team chemistry is very good, ”Davis told The Associated Press before a special seventh All-Star game for the 6-foot-10 striker. “We were able to do some important things in the first half of the year and it only gets better.”
<p class = "Canvas-Atom Canvas-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Davis has teamed up Lebron James Giving Los Angeles one of the best 1-2 hits in the league, which led the Lakers to a Western Conference best 41-12 record during the break. Davis averages a team high of 26.6 points and 9.2 rebounds and shoots almost 52% of the field. “Data-reactid =” 34 “> Davis has teamed up with LeBron James to give Los Angeles one of the best 1-2 hits in the world. The league leads the Lakers to a 41-12 record in the Western Conference. Davis achieves an average team high of 26.6 points and 9.2 rebounds and shoots almost 52% of the field.
In his first seven seasons with New Orleans, it was a big question for Davis this season to only reach the playoffs. Now it’s all about seeding and championship goals.
While Davis is a matchup nightmare on the offensive, he could be even more valuable to Los Angeles on the defensive side of the ball. After the Lakers hired coach Frank Vogel in May and took over Davis in a three-team trade in July, they allow 107.3 points per game at 44.6% shooting, which is their defensive average of 113.5 points and 45 , 2% shooting from the previous season improved.
” We rely (Davis) on point guards. We put it in the middle. We put him on wings. And obviously he’s doing a great job with his natural matchup at Power Forward, ”said Vogel. “So he definitely allows us to do a lot more than an ordinary player would do in this position, and his ability to protect multiple positions alone makes him the defensive player of the year in my book.”
Just don’t expect much from this Sunday when Davis is playing the All Star game in his hometown.
“This is a night I can take a night off,” said a grinning Davis. ” Take a little break from the defense. But we buckle up at the end of the game to try and win. Then it starts. ”
Davis’ busy all-star weekend included a stop at the Louis L. Valentine Boys & Girls Club on Chicago’s South Side for a 2K Foundations event on Friday. He attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for a renovated basketball court and buried a long 3-pointer before visiting the facility’s renovated playroom.
Davis said he enjoys the nonprofit aspect of the All Star weekend, but it means more to him in his hometown this year. Growing up in Chicago played an important role in his development as a basketball player.
“I think every Chicago musician, artist, professional athlete, we all had the same motivation and the same Chicago style,” Davis told the AP. ” We were the ones who just wanted to get it. ”
Davis is part of Team LeBron for the all-star game, but it remains to be seen how long he will play with the four-time NBA MVP in Los Angeles.
Davis is eligible for a free agency after this season. He was reportedly declined a four-year $ 146 million contract extension last month. The move was expected, however, as he will be able to do more lucrative business with the Lakers in the longer term if he waits for the agency to become available.
If Davis knows what he’s going to do, he’ll keep his cards close to his vest for now.
“I currently have no idea of free hand,” he told the AP. “I’m worried about this season and what I can do to help the Lakers win this year. When the time comes, do an interview with me and we’ll find out.”
Denver AP sports journalist Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
Further AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports