It is known that Anthony Davis doesn’t love playing center all that much in the regular season but is willing to do it in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers’ play-in victory over the Golden State Warriors again showed the devastating force that is AD at the 5 and why Frank Vogel must ditch Andre Drummond as the starting center.
The Lakers have been sluggish with Davis and Drummond together on the court this season, and Wednesday’s game was no different. They fell behind by 11 points right away and trailed by 13 at halftime. While Drummond wasn’t actively terrible in the game, he was just a big body out there getting in the way of driving lanes and clogging up the paint. He also was slow on some rotations and not always sure where to be defensively. Meanwhile, Davis was forced out to the perimeter and fired up a variety of bricks in the first half.
The Lakers did come out of the second-half gates better, only for the Warriors to push their lead back out to 12 midway through the third quarter. The game then flipped when Drummond exited (right after ESPN’s Mark Jackson ripped the Lakers for giving him multiple post-up touches in a row) for Wesley Matthews and Vogel went to Davis at the 5. All of a sudden that clogged paint was open for LeBron James to wreak havoc after a brutal first half. Davis started to get going as well after his own rough opening half.