Ranking the top four 1-2 punches in the West

LA Clippers Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Anthony Davis and LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis and LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

1. Anthony Davis & LeBron James

  • Anthony Davis’ Laker stats: 24.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg
  • LeBron James’ Laker stats: 26.8 ppg, 8.0 apg, 7.9 rpg

The NBA can be a brutal business at times. Sure, players are afforded multimillion-dollar contracts and otherworldly fame. Also, when things are going right, they are often hoisted onto the shoulders of their undying fans and talked about at length on various sports shows. However, when things aren’t going right, players are often chastised and ripped apart.

Anthony Davis and LeBron James have suffered through both ends of the spectrum. In Davis’ first season donning the purple and gold, it couldn’t have gone any better. The incredibly talented big man averaged 26.1 points to go along with 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in year one. The addition of Davis freed up James to sit back and dish the rock, leading the league in that department with 10.2 a night during the 2019-20 season.

During their first season as teammates, the Lakers took home an NBA title. But while two seasons ago really isn’t that long ago, many have already forgotten about their accomplishments. Over the past two seasons, postseason success simply hasn’t followed this duo. During the 2021 postseason, the Lakers were bounced in the first round. This past season, mostly due to injury, the Lakers failed to make the big dance at all.

At this point, injuries, more than anything else, are holding them back. Davis played a total of 76 games, a great number considering that there are only 82 games in a season. However, Davis played those 76 games over the course of the past two seasons, missing 88 games in the process. James hasn’t been a picture of perfect health either, missing 63 games during that same span.

If the Lakers can simply keep both players healthy, they can seriously compete for a title. That said, Davis has always had a frail physique and at the age of 37, James isn’t able to withstand the grind of a full season. If both Davis and James can put their recent injury history behind them, an NBA title is in their future.

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