Charles Barkley & Anthony Davis

Charles Barkley defends Russ, LeBron, and Vogel on Lakers struggles: “I blame AD”

The Lakers have been underperforming this season despite a star-studded lineup. The complete roster has not been played regularly due to the health issues of some players. However, that’s not the issue for Charles Barkley, as he blames one All-Star who’s not holding up his end of the bargain. 

I blame Anthony Davis  

As chatters grew around the NBA that Frank Vogel could lose his job soon if the Lakers fail to shape up, Barkley turns his attention to Anthony Davis, who he claims has not been himself lately. 

“Listen, Anthony Davis, you’ve got to play better. If the Lakers were gonna be any good, it was all gonna be on you. It has nothing to do with Russell. Has nothing to do with LeBron, and the rest of them old ass geezers they put together out there. 

In my opinion, I blame Anthony Davis. You’re supposed to be in your prime. You’re supposed to be one of the five best players in the world. Up there with Giannis, Kevin Durant, and those guys. And you ain’t holding up your end of the bargain. So now I hear y’all are going to fire the head coach. That’s total B.S., man.”

A quick look at Davis’ numbers shows inconsistencies on his part, especially on plus/minus rating. For example, in their losses against the Clippers and Kings, Davis had a minus 9 and minus 16 rating on the floor, respectively. 

As one of the stars of the Lakers, he needs to step up. Scoring 24.4 points and grabbing ten rebounds per game is decent, but great players rise to occasions. As Sir Charles said, AD is still at his peak right now and once labeled as the only one who could stop Giannis Antetokounmpo. While The Greek Freak has improved his game immensely, the same can’t be said to Davis. AD is still a good player, but the Lakers need him to become a great player. 

Critics point out the roster’s age after Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and James teamed up. Fans know all are past their primes. Expecting them to carry the burden at this stage in their career might be a tall task. Meanwhile, Anthony is just 27. He has all the tools to carry the team to the promised land. 

Davis must improve 3-point shooting  

AD, a career 30.6 percent shooter on the rainbow territory, is only making 18.8 percent of the same shots this season. Outside shooting is vital in the modern NBA as it provides spacing for teams to create. The Brow is among only a few big men who can drain 3s. The Lakers, as a team, is struggling to hit their stride beyond the 3-point line. If there’s someone who can drain them consistently, it would be Davis. But that is not happening this season for some reason.

The 8-time All-Star needs to figure out soon how to make his outside shots. The Lakers go as far as AD takes them. The front office provided all the help he needed to become successful. Davis needs to do his end of the bargain to stabilize the inconsistent Lakers.