Lakers News: Anthony Davis Praised by LeBron James, Rajon Rondo After Game 2 Win

Martin FennCorrespondent IIOctober 3, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James (23) talk on the floor during the second half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angles Lakers big man Anthony Davis dominated Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, but it turned out that performance was merely a precursor to his excellence in Game 2.

Davis set the tone for L.A. with 34 points, nine rebounds, five rebounds and three blocks in Game 1. He followed up by scoring 32 points on 15-for-20 shooting in Game 2, adding 14 rebounds and seemingly getting whatever he wanted in the paint.

Members of the Lakers praised Davis after the contest, including LeBron James.

LeBron called Davis a "big-time player" during his postgame interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, adding "The Brow" is prepared to do whatever it takes to get a win. Nichols also asked what James was telling Davis just before the final buzzer, though LeBron said he would keep the comments "in house." 

Of course, James has hoped to play with AD for quite some time. In fact, he was almost penalized for violating the league's tampering rules after suggesting playing with Davis would be "amazing" back in December of 2018, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. 

But while "King James" has enjoyed watching his co-star evolve over the course of the season, Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo has had exposure to Davis' greatness in the past.

Rondo was Davis' teammate as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2017-18 campaign, when the Pels actually won a playoff series before running into the Golden State Warriors.

The four-time All-Star has emerged as a consummate leader and one of the foremost communicators for the Lakers in the "bubble," and Rondo said he anticipates greatness from Davis. In fact, Rondo said he expects Davis to "get 50 every night," per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Meanwhile, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel addressed Davis' hunger, stating the Chicago native is fixed on winning his first NBA title, per Mark Medina of USA Today

It should be noted this particular game was always going to be a favorable matchup for Davis.

The Heat were missing Bam Adebayo, who was nursing a neck injury on top of a shoulder injury. Adebayo was Miami's best interior defender and rebounder. Without him, the Heat were utterly lost.

Los Angeles totally dominated inside. The Lakers scored 56 points in the point and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, half of which came from Davis. Miami tried to go to a zone defense, but Frank Vogel said after the game the Lakers felt they could extend the Heat to create favorable matchups, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. 

Still, Davis' efficiency was impressive. The 27-year-old had success in Game 1 in part because he was able to draw contact at the rim, making all 10 of his free-throw attempts. But on Friday, Davis dazzled with his shot-making ability, knocking down mid-range jumpers and crashing the rim for easy put-backs. 

It remains to be seen whether Adebayo or Goran Dragic—who was sidelined with a torn left plantar fascia—will be available for Game 3.

Regardless, Davis has spearheaded the Lakers' offensive attack in this series, and L.A. figures to keep going to that well until it runs dry. Needless to say, Davis' teammates and coaches are fully aware of his ability and determination to win his first title.


All stats obtained via Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted