When the debates about the best big men in the league start, the names of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid come up, but, according to sports analyst Bill Simmons, AD should not be on the same level as Giannis and Jokic.
Anthony Davis struggles to lead a team
Before joining the Lakers, AD played for the New Orleans Pelicans for seven seasons and only managed to make the playoffs twice as a lower seed team. He had support, although not enough to make a deeper run in the postseason.
Now that he plays for the Lakers with a supposedly better coaching staff and supporting cast, AD is still struggling to carry the team to the playoffs. Injuries play their part as he had been hobbled by different health issues this season. It also affects his rhythm whenever he comes back to play, only to suffer other injuries again.
Bill Simmons thinks AD shouldn't be compared to other dominant big men like Giannis Antetokounmpo or Nikola Jokic.
The Greek Freak has proven he could tow the Milwaukee Bucks with tenacity and will. The Joker showcased that as long as he is healthy, the Denver Nuggets will always have a chance to make the postseason. Let’s remember that the Nuggets are without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., their best offensive threats outside Jokic, while Antetokounmpo won and NBA finals with only Khris Middleton as an All-Star teammate.
On the other hand, AD has LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Russell Westbrook, but the Lakers are in danger of not even making the play-in tournament. Davis is currently out with a foot sprain and should be back in two weeks. Without him, the chances are slimmer but can the Lakers make it with him out of the starting lineup?
"[If the Lakers miss the playoffs] AD will have missed the playoffs 6/10 years. You look at the other guys who are really good in the league... Giannis is never missing the playoffs if he is healthy. Neither is Jokic. We are finding out this year it doesn't matter who is on his team."
Is AD deserving to be named in the Top 75 list?
Given the argument, is AD deserving to be included in the NBA Top 75 players? Or is it too early, too soon?
Some would say his spot is replaceable. After all, he only has one title to show. No MVPs or Finals MVP either. In his defense, you can’t contribute and be effective if you’re not playing. Availability is the best ability. Davis has not shown he could stay healthy while being the main point of offense or defense for the L.A Lakers. A 37-year-old LeBron James is still asked to carry the Purple and Gold.