There was no revenge for the Los Angeles Lakers on the opening day of the NBA season as the team fell to the Denver Nuggets 119-107. Perhaps the biggest storyline to come from the game was Anthony Davis‘ performance.
After scoring 17 points in a dominant first half, Davis disappeared and didn’t score a single point in the second half. As good as the eight-time All-Star can be, his inconsistency is causing frustration in the Lakers fan base. This led Fox Sports’ Nick Wright to pitch a trade that would send the reigning MVP to Los Angeles.
“I was watching the second half of this game, and I was like, ‘I mean, [Anthony Davis] for Joel Embiid?’” Wright asked on the October 25 episode of “First Things First.”
The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs in Emiid’s career. With James Harden wanting to be traded, it’s difficult to see them going on a deep playoff run this season. Embiid can’t become a free agent until 2026 so the 76ers would have to reason to rush a trade of him.
Embiid and Davis are similar players. Davis is 30 and Emiid is 29. They both have suffered from injury issues throughout their career. However, Davis is a much better defensive player while Embiid is far superior on offense. It’d be an interesting swap but it’s difficult to see how it would make either team that much better.
Anthony Davis Ripped for Performance
There are times when Anthony Davis looks like the best player in the NBA. That’s how it was in the first half against the Nuggets. The problem is that he can’t always sustain that level of play for a whole game.
He’s healthy right now and it was the first game of the season so he should be fresh. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith expressed a lot of concern regarding what he saw from Davis.
“Atrocious, very concerning,” Smith said on the October 25 episode of “First Take.” “Ladies and gentlemen, you just saw the reason why the Los Angeles Lakers ain’t gon’ win no championship this year. … I’m so ticked off at Anthony Davis right now. It’s an embarrassment what happened with him yesterday. We gotta call it like we see it, okay? When this brother brings his A game, he’s one of the top seven players on the planet Earth.”
It’s only the first game of the season so Davis has time to prove the critics wrong.
Anthony Davis Discusses What Went Wrong
The Lakers lost to the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals last season and were highly motivated to get their revenge to open the season. Anthony Davis’ lackluster second half is a major reason they couldn’t pull off the win.
Davis gave some insight into why his play fell off later in the game.
“They started double-teaming,” Davis said in his October 24 postgame press conference “They were trying to crowd the paint. I missed some easy little layups around the rim and little jumpers. Just trying to make the right play, kick it out to our guys. If I’m doubled, kick it out. Rui [Hachimura] had an open 3, Gabe [Vincent] had open 3s. They just didn’t fall. But I got to shoot it more.”
Austin Boyd has covered the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Lakers for Heavy.com since 2019. Born and raised in Los Angeles, his featured work at Heavy includes interviews with NFL stars Darren Waller and Joe Montana, and a behind-the-scenes look at “The Shop.” More about Austin Boyd