Three games into the new NBA season, LA Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is finally a happy man. Riding on Anthony Davis’ stellar defensive play and Carmelo Anthony’s historic night, the Lakers recorded their first win of the 2021-22 campaign by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 121-118 on Sunday.
Carmelo Anthony had 28 points on a night when he moved into ninth position on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis had 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots that denied the Grizzlies an opportunity to win a game on the road.
Speaking on Davis’ defense, Vogel had nothing but praise for the 2012 first overall draft pick. He said after the game:
“It was obviously a tight game down the stretch. Every possession matters and he [Anthony Davis] came out of nowhere with some of those blocks. That’s why he is one of the best defensive players in the world. That’s why we have a winning culture because of our commitment on that end of the ball. We still need to be a lot better, but he was outstanding with some of those plays.”
LA Lakers star Anthony Davis has been inconsistent to begin the new NBA season
Anthony Davis has had an up-and-down start to his 10th NBA season. The 28-year-old put up 33 points on 15-of-26 shooting (57.7%) in the LA Lakers’ opening game against the Golden State Warriors. However, he tallied only 22 points while shooting 6-of-18 (33.3%) from the floor against the Phoenix Suns on Friday.
The Suns also dominated the Lakers 52-26 in the paint in that contest, showcasing Davis’ subpar effort in the restricted area on both ends of the floor. He was just 4-of-13 in the paint versus the Suns.
Anthony Davis was much better in his offensive efficiency against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. He went 8-of-15 overall (53.3%) and was 7-of-10 (70.0%) in the restricted area on Sunday. His effort lifted the LA Lakers to a 52-point showing in the paint against Memphis, though the home team were still outscored by 10 points in that category.
Anthony Davis and his LA Lakers teammates will now travel to San Antonio and Oklahoma City to play their next two games on the road.