Kendrick Perkins was highly critical of LeBron James’ performance during the LA Lakers’ 116-115 defeat against the Indiana Pacers. The 37-year-old scored 21 points on a disappointing 36.4% shooting off the field. Although the King was evidently not at his efficient best, Perkins blamed the Purple and Gold’s twelfth loss on James for a different reason.
According to the 2008 NBA champion, LeBron James should have forced a few plays to the man in form, Anthony Davis down the stretch. The 29-year-old scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 36 minutes. He looked great in the first three quarters and helped the LA Lakers get a 17-point lead. However, in the fourth quarter, he managed to take only two shots and score one point of it. Speaking about how LeBron James could have turned things around for the Purple and Gold by making plays through AD, Perkins said on NBA Today that:
“I can’t point the fingers at Darvin Ham, I can’t point the finger at Russell Westbrook, I gotta go with LeBron James on this one, and here’s why right, we talk about who is the best player on the Lakers right now ? and that is Anthony Marshawn Davis, we talking about a guy who through 11 games that is averaging 32, 16 and shooting 64% from the field and so when I look back at last night’s collapse, I’m thinking to myself how in the hell did Anthony Davis only take two shots, why didn’t LeBron James take control and go to the point guard position and force feed Anthony Davis.”
Is Anthony Davis more important to the LA Lakers than LeBron James ?
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were the duo that led the way for the LA Lakers to get to their seventeenth NBA championship. Since then they have not had a lot of playing time together, due to injuries. However, this season, it seems like both these stars are back to their best for the Purple and Gold. AD is averaging 26.2 PPG, 12.8 RPG and 2.3 BPG. LeBron on the other hand just returned back from an injury.
In James’ absence, Anthony Davis dominated every game for the Lakers. He helped them win 5 of the six games and got recognition in the MVP race. AD is currently 29 and is at the peak of his career. Meanwhile, LeBron James is entering Year 20 and entering the twilight years of his illustrious career. Although he can still deliver top-notch performances, the Lakers cannot expect to be carried by the King like previous years.
That being said, it is now AD’s responsibility to take the leadership of the team and bring out the best in other players. He has been in the league for a while and will most certainly be the perfect candidate for it His dominance in the paint and elite defensive abilities is known to all. He brings great two-way strengths and that is what the league demands from their stars. If he is able to continue performing well, the Lakers’ front office will be forced to think to build the team around him.