In the world of video games, the term "meta" is commonly used as shorthand for the "most effective tactic available."
In the NBA, analytics have pushed the game toward the current meta, as best represented by James Harden and the Houston Rockets—a franchise dedicated to scoring with the three-point shot, free throws and layups and dunks.
With that style of play spreading throughout the league over recent years, teams have gone smaller with skilled players (notably shooters), supplanting taller ones who lack range.
Yet through the first 14 games, the Los Angeles Lakers (12-2) have the best record in the league as a counter-meta team. The key to that success is Anthony Davis.
"We're playing big because we have the luxury of having [Davis] at the power forward position," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "I feel like the way the league has transitioned, the center position is not going away. The non-dominant power forward, the position has really fallen off, and you can't have a non-shooting power forward in today's NBA if he's not dominant. But Anthony gives us the luxury of having that elite offensive player, defensive player, and then you still have two centers out there who can really help us hold the fort down on the defensive end."
In acquiring Davis over the summer, Vogel could have pushed for him to slide over to center, but instead the team re-signed JaVale McGee and brought in free agent DeMarcus Cousins. When Cousins hurt his knee before the season, the Lakers gave Dwight Howard a shot, and he's been tremendous off the bench.