The stage is set. The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers are going to the NBA finals. There are many storylines that are going into these finals. LeBron James is on his quest for his fourth finals win, trying to catch up to Micheal Jordan. You have Jimmy Butler, who made it to his first finals after jumping from team to team trying to find a system with winners. However, one of the biggest if not the biggest storyline is about Chi-Town’s own Anthony Davis and him proving himself to be one of the best players on the planet.
One of the things that AD has had to deal with over the years was being accused of accumulating empty stats and not being a winner. For those who don’t know, the term “empty stats” is when a player puts up really good stats, but their team still doesn’t win, or does nothing of significance. While in New Orleans for seven years, AD was averaging about 24 points a game, 10 rebounds and two blocks. He was also a six-time All-Star, a three-time blocks champion, three-time All NBA star, and three-time all defensive team player.
However, despite all that personal success, power forward/center only led the Pelicans to the playoffs twice, and only won a playoff series once. This has been a huge thing for analysts against him, saying that even though he puts up great numbers, he is not a winner, and doesn’t know how to. It is worth noting, however, that he has only played with one other perennial All-Star that wasn’t James, and that was DeMarcas Cousins, who ended up getting hurt when they were playing together. In the end, they couldn’t make the run that people thought they would.
During these recent playoffs and over the course of the year, Davis has definitely proven that he is a winner, and has what it takes to win. He has hit a game-winning shot against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, and is averaging 28.8 points per game while also averaging 9.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 blocks and steals. He has proven that when put in the right situation, he is easily one of the top players in the league, and is on his way to becoming an NBA champion.
The first game of the NBA Finals kicks off on September 30th at 8:00 CST on ABC.
By Devin Foster, Sophomore, Bradley University
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