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Playoffs 2020

NBA Playoffs 2020: Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis got back to being the best big man in the game

It's been almost a week since we've seen the Los Angeles Lakers take the floor and with everything that's transpired on and off the court over that time, it's easy to forget how good Anthony Davis has been in the playoffs.

While most eyes and storylines will be on LeBron James, Davis is the key to the Lakers' title hopes this season.

If Anthony Davis can be the best player on the floor, the Lakers will raise another banner in 2020.

In Game 1 of L.A's first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, those who bravely picked Portland to win the series saw everything they needed to see to have confidence in their prediction. Alternately, Davis showed Lakers fans a side of himself that they feared would appear in the worst of times.

Portland's bigs were physical throughout Game 1 and the Brow wanted no part of it. Davis did go to the line 17 times in the game but he shot poorly from the field, going 8-for-24. A lot of the shots that Davis took looked like a player hoping for a whistle to blow rather than imposing his will.

But a switch was flipped after the Game 1 loss. The best big man in the game decided to be just that - the best big man in the game. Davis averaged 30.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists shooting 66.2 percent from the field from Game 2 onwards. It's one of the main reasons why the Lakers were able to eliminate the Blazers in five games.

While the efficiency stands out, it's where Davis' looks came from that tell the story. Of the 89 shots AD took in the first round, 39.3 percent of them came from less than five feet. Despite Portland's size, Davis made it a point to get to the rack.

L.A.'s round two matchup against the Rockets shouldn't change that. In fact, AD should double down.

Oklahoma City pushed Houston to the brink of elimination in round one, while averaging just 36.0 points per game in the paint. The Lakers, led by Davis, averaged 50.0 points in the paint against a much more rim intimidating outfit in the Blazers.

We've never seen a talent like Anthony Davis. A big with legit guard skills. Because of his versatility, it's easy to give him a pass when he floats around the perimeter as he did in Game 1 against the Blazers, but the best version of AD is when he's attacking downhill, which is what he did the remainder of the series.

And it's that version of Davis the Lakers will need if they plan on making it past the Houston Rockets and eventually the L.A. Clippers on route to another Finals appearance.

The question is: can he take the physical pounding for three more rounds?

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