The Freak Puts 47 on AD’s Head Top

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Updated: November 18, 2021
Lakers Bucks Basketball

The fact that last year’s NBA champions can close 4th quarters against a Westbrook-led Lakers with Lebron on the sidelines in street clothes is hardly a revelation. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if half the LA radio stations are fixating on the silver lining of THT going off for 25, convincing themselves it’s the reason ownership let Caruso take his two-way skills over to Chicago. Sometimes when a piece of the puzzle so pivotal to an equation is missing like a Lebron James, little can be taken from the matchup when attempting to extract data for the macro perspective of the two title contenders. However, one specific variable was highlighted and quite frankly solved for—the question that plagued the minds of analysts back in the Bubble Era. Who is the most dominant big in basketball?

Well, there are 3 of them, none of which reside in the City of Angels. The Freak of Milwaukee, The Siberian Center, and The Process (whenever healthy) are the dominant number 1 options on true title contenders. What exactly is Anthony Davis? We have all seen flashes of a man who at times looks like a generational defensive talent laced with 7-foot guard skills who can score from any corner of the floor. Yet with all the attention around Giannis taking or not taking 3’s, it is Davis who is shooting 19.4% from distance and 76% from the line. On the defensive end, he was the primary defender on Antetokounmpo who tonight went for 47 points on 78% shooting…18 from 23 from the field. What that stat line basically says, is that Giannis scored every time he went to the basket. He missed one 3-point attempt, and a few fade-away jumpers at the end of the shot clock, but 14 out of 15 times he went to the basket and wasn’t fouled, he scored with ease. When he was fouled, he went 8 for 11 from the free-throw line.

Anthony Davis, as the obvious number 1 option with King James still out with the abdominal injury, scored a pedestrian 18 points, and somehow never forced his 6”11-255-pound frame to the free-throw line. 0 for 0 from the stripe from your starting center…

One could point to the fact that Middleton had made his way back into the lineup and the Bucks were almost fully healthy, but Kris and Jrue Holiday combined for 24 points on a severely inefficient 7 of 25 from the field. Last night it was Bobby Portis playing Robin to Antetokounmpo with Brook Lopez still out with an injury. Giannis carried Milwaukee the way that Anthony Davis should be carrying the Lakers every minute that Lebron is not on the floor with him. At a ripe age of 28, in the dead center of his prime, you would hope that he would be up for the challenge, but the man is picking up minor injuries it seems every night he takes the floor.

In the 3rd quarter, he adopted a limp that stayed with him until the end of the game. This was the biggest concern with Lebron going out for a prolonged period of time, was with how fragile Davis has been, what these extra pressured minutes would do to his overall health so early in the season. With an 8 and 8 record slotted in at the 8 seed currently, they will most likely be climbing uphill the rest of the way with how well so many teams are playing in the West. The question should probably be asked again…who is Anthony Davis? Because we do know one thing for certain, he is not Antetokounmpo’s equal.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 36 mins – 47 points – 18 for 23 (78 FG%) – 3 of 4 from 3 – 9 REB – 3 AST – 8 of 11 FT

Anthony Davis: 37 mins – 18 points – 9 of 15 (60 FG%) – 0 of 1 from 3 – 9 Reb – 4 AST – 0 of 0 FT

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