);
NBA Finals 2020

NBA Finals 2020: Is Anthony Davis the best teammate LeBron James has ever had?

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): Anthony Davis has been unstoppable through the first two games of the NBA Finals, averaging 33.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 63.4% from the field and 60.0% from 3-point range.

That's uh ... pretty good.

Prior to AD's dominant Game 2 performance, former NBA player and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins had a take to get off.

Moments later, he was met with no resistance from future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade.

So that brings us to this conversation: Is Davis really LeBron James' best teammate ever?

Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Whew. To think about the names that LeBron has played alongside, the answer to that question requires some thought.

I mean, the first person that came to mind was D-Wade, who, ironically, is the one that doubled down on what Perk had to say.

From a talent level, I'll give AD a slight edge over 2010-11 Wade but from a fit perspective, I'm gonna say it's either AD or … 2015-16 Kyrie. And AD gets the edge there, too.

What say you?

Irving: As great as Kyrie was in 2015-16, he doesn't even get consideration from me.

It's a two-man race between Davis and Wade and I'm gonna side with "Big Perk" and D-Wade here... it's A.D.

Recency bias might play a role in that, but with the type of show Davis has put on so far in The Finals, how could I pick anyone else? He's completely controlled both games and I don't see that changing for the remainder of the series, even if Bam Adebayo returns to action.

McGregor: Sheesh. Interesting. No consideration?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Kyrie is a better basketball player than AD or D-Wade but man … well, let me explain my logic here.

Ever since our Scott Rafferty used the word "masterclass" to describe what Davis did in Game 2 against Miami, the word has been embedded in my brain (thanks, Scott). But it wasn't like AD did that because LeBron was off or because LeBron took a step back.

They both dominated because of one another.

The way in which they make each other better is pretty amazing. I almost feel like AD and Kyrie are unique in that they've been the only two star teammates LeBron has had that didn't really have to adjust who they were to put on a masterclass by his side. I think back to when Bron and Kyrie each scored 41 during that 3-1 comeback.

It was next-level synergy. But maybe I'm overrating that small sample and overlooking some other things from their three seasons together.

As for Wade, Chris Bosh and Kevin Love, some sacrifices and changes needed to be made on their end to allow LeBron - and their teams - to reach their full potential.

Irving: Kyrie is super talented and he complimented James very, very well during their time in Cleveland. I also see what you're saying about him fitting seamlessly alongside LeBron without having to compromise his game.

But let's say this is a draft with LeBron as your centrepiece and all of his teammates he's ever had in the draft pool, would you really consider taking Irving with that No. 1 pick?

That's why I'm saying he doesn't get consideration from me.

While Davis would be my selection, I would legitimately consider selecting D-Wade. When I'm comparing AD to Kyrie, that's a much easier decision to take Davis.

McGregor: Ooh OK OK. I gotta admit, you got me there.

If I even considered taking Kyrie first, it'd probably be for a split second. I'm 100% taking AD first, over anyone else. 100 times out of 100.

But back to AD, I won't make this the Kyrie hour.

To think that this iteration of the Lakers is wrapping up its first season together and look this good has gotta be scary for the league's other 29 teams. LeBron is unlocking AD's potential and AD could be adding years to LeBron's career.

It's a sight to see. Do you think it's perfect timing … or they would've meshed this well at any point?

Or is that just a silly question?

Irving: I don't think that's a silly question at all.

Because my first thought was trying to imagine like... 2016 LeBron with 2016 AD. While on paper that sounds even more unstoppable than this iteration we're seeing now, maybe this really is the perfect storm for both of them.

At this stage in his career, it's working out perfectly that James can be a distributor first and let Davis get as many touches as he needs to control a game. While I don't doubt that 2016 LeBron could have done the exact same thing ... would he have wanted to?

Same goes for 2017 or 2018 LeBron - he was still averaging over 30 points per game in the playoffs at that point. Would he have been ready to give that up to the younger Davis?

McGregor: With that being said, the circumstance certainly adds to just how well this pairing has worked so far.

It's not even like LeBron has had to re-invent himself, he's just switched up the approach to work smarter and be more of a distributor as you said. Winning the assists title in Year 17 is nuts, by the way.

So, it makes sense that AD said he "plans to follow (LeBron) to hopefully nine more Finals," cause the first is going so well and … it's only up from here?

Irving: Nine more Finals has to be hyperbole ... I think?

But in all seriousness, with the way that James is moving out there and how well he takes care of his body, I don't see why he and Davis can't get to three, maybe four, more Finals.

If that's the case, that's more Finals trips than he went to with Irving and right on par with he and D-Wade's appearances. Is that that crazy to say?

McGregor: I really don't think so.

There's legitimately a timeline in which this is the worst team that these two are surrounded by. And I say that with no disrespect, considering they're on the verge of winning a title.

But titles - and Finals appearances - are a pretty good metric to use when comparing these different duos. (Which, I mean, credit to LeBron, that's a really, really high watermark)

Either way, only time will tell… as they've reminded us throughout the postseason, they've got to finish the job first.

I'm sure this isn't the last we'll be having of this discussion.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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