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Lakers' Russell Westbrook Calls Anthony Davis the 'Ultimate Weapon,' 'One of a Kind'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2021

El Segundo, CA. September 28, 2021:  Lakers Russell Westbrook, left,and Anthony Davis chat during media day at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo Tuesday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook is holding himself accountable to help Anthony Davis remain one of the NBA's best players.

Westbrook discussed the partnership he'll have with Davis in the pick-and-roll and called him the "ultimate weapon." 

"He's one of a kind," the 2016-17 MVP said. "There's nobody like him who can do everything he's able to do at his size. And my job is to make sure I continue to push him each day, each practice, each game, so he can be at the top of his game each and every night."

By his usual standards, Davis had a disappointing 2020-21 season.

He averaged 21.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 26.0 percent from beyond the arc. The eight-time All-Star also battled a troublesome injury to his Achilles tendon that limited him to 36 games.

As soon as it became clear Westbrook was on his way to the Lakers, many wondered how head coach Frank Vogel would orient the offense to maximize Westbrook, Davis and LeBron James. The three stars operate best inside the perimeter, creating concerns about floor spacing.

The pick-and-roll is one of the more obvious ways to create a two-man game between Westbrook and one of Davis or James.

Westbrook's athleticism has declined somewhat from his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he and Kevin Durant combined to be deadly in the pick-and-roll during their time together. That's a recipe Vogel will look to follow in L.A.

According to NBA.com, Davis had a 41.6 percent effective field-goal rate in catch-and-shoots last season. If he can get back to where he was in 2019-20 (48.5 percent), then he would be effective cutting to the basket or rolling to the side for a pick-and-pop.

Beyond playing to Davis' strengths, consistently getting him in pick-and-rolls with Westbrook would give the Lakers a straightforward plan of attack when James is on the bench.