BBL legend Mike Tuck says Anthony Davis has the ‘best teacher in the world’ in LeBron James and is confident he’ll see the pair play together in future NBA Finals.
Anthony Davis is a difference-maker. Moving him to the five (center) position in Game 6 of the Finals really made a difference for the Lakers. He really looked the part. He spreads the floor even more, can do so many things and creates space for everybody.
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In his first NBA Finals, Davis looked pretty comfortable out there. He was a major contributor all the way through the playoffs.
It has been a long road for Davis: all those years with the New Orleans Pelicans; all the drama of sitting out games in his last season there; finally getting over to the Lakers and getting a shot at the title in his first year there. He really deserves this success. It has all been worth it for him.
Nobody does it by themselves in the NBA. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and other guys. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal had each other. The 2008 Celtics had their Big Three. It is a team game and typically you need your superstar surrounded by one or two same-calibre-type of guys.
LeBron James learned this and teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. He has passed that lesson to Davis.
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I think we will see LeBron in another NBA Finals series with Davis, who is probably the best two-way player in the league. Everyone gives that title to Kawhi Leonard, but Davis gives you rim protecion, too.
The best thing about Davis is he is only 27. I don’t think he has reached his peak yet. That’s the scary thing. We could definitely see this Lakers team back in the Finals next year.
Davis has so much further to go and has the best teacher in the world with LeBron by his side. This playoff run will have added to his experience and confidence. A coach like Frank Vogel will tell Davis to shoot more threes and tell him to be more aggressive every game. It couldn’t be a better environment for Davis to develop and take further steps in the right direction.
What’s next for the Lakers and Heat?
Re-signing Davis is obviously the Lakers’ biggest offseason priority but they also have to think about keeping hold of some of their role players. I thought Javale McGee did a great job this season. Quinn Cook and Alex Caruso are locked down for next year.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley and McGee have player options for 2020-21 and are guys the Lakers should stick with. Especially Bradley, he would have added so much to this Lakers team had he been in the bubble. Rajon Rondo is also on a player option and he definitely proved his worth in the postseason.
Will the Heat be looking for one more piece to put them over the top? Yes, I think they need one more piece. When you have a breakout season, the following year is tough because every opponent scouts you more closely. The secret is out on Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, opponents will now be gunning for them throughout next season. It won’t be as easy for them next year.
The Heat have decisions to make on Goran Dragic, who I felt proved himself in the playoffs, and Jae Crowder, who did well against LeBron in spurts in the Finals. But other than that, Butler, Bam Adebayo, Herro, Iguodala are all locked down and Robinson and Kendrick Nunn have team options.
What sort of player will the Heat be looking to add? They won’t want a prima donna or a ‘pretty boy’, they’ll want someone willing to put their head down and work. Someone who isn’t afraid of getting yelled at. Miami run a tight ship and they’ll want someone who fits into that. Maybe another ‘big’, someone to give Adeabyo some help down low.
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This Miami roster trends young and has a lot of room to grow. The best part of their time in the bubble is the experience they will have gained. It is priceless going that far in the playoffs, especially matching up against LeBron and the Lakers in the Finals. I think they will make another big jump next season.