Anthony Davis' 2-Way Dominance Driving Lakers' 19-3 Start

It’s important to note that L.A.’s defensive ferocity and refusal to coast are antithetical to what we’ve seen from most of James’ recent teams.

In Cleveland (we’re talking James’ second stint), defense was optional, and urgency for regular-season games was hard to come by. We can’t ascribe all of the Lakers’ focus to Davis, but doesn’t it stand to reason that AD—the guy who hasn’t won at a clip commensurate with his skills, the guy who may have more to prove this season than anyone else—deserves most of the credit?

He’s never been a part of a team this successful, and it often feels as though he’s as committed to sustaining that success as anyone on the roster. It’s more appreciation than desperation; Davis is getting his first taste of high-level play, and it seems to agree with him.

And because we tend to ascribe more value to statistical production that coincides with winning, can’t we also agree that although Davis isn’t averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks, his contributions to a 19-3 Lakers team are at least as impressive as anything he’s done in the past?