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Paul Pierce Calls Out Lakers Star Anthony Davis – Here’s Why AD Didn’t Make DPOY Finalist!

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After a heartbreaking Lakers loss, Paul Pierce is taking aim at AD.

Before Game 2 of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets playoff series on Monday, Anthony Davis expressed frustration on not being included as one of the three NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award finalists. And after Davis and the Lakers lost to the Nuggets on a Jamal Murray game-winner over Davis, former NBA player Paul Pierce was critical of Davis, particularly on the defensive end.

Davis, who has been named to an NBA All-Defensive team four times in his career but never won Defensive Player of the Year, had the unfortunate position of not only watching Murray make the game-winner over him on Monday, but he also had to try to defend Nikola Jokic, the reigning Finals MVP and likely soon-to-be three-time NBA MVP. On FS1’s “Undisputed” program today, Pierce, donning a ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ shirt meant to troll the Lakers and their fans, said Davis proved exactly why he was not a DPOY finalist against the Nuggets.

“AD, the All-Defensive [sic] finalists came out yesterday, and he was pissed off that he wasn’t on the list,” Pierce said. “Well, we see why now. You had opportunity after opportunity to come up with big stop after big stop, and he couldn’t do it. Now that’s not to say he’s not a good defender, he’s a good defender. He’s a really good defender, but when you’re playing the best in the world, this is your opportunity to show it.”

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Anthony Davis, Lakers’ struggles vs. the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets player Jamal Murray shooting over Los Angeles Lakers player Anthony Davis

After a thoroughly dominant first half and beginning to the third quarter, Anthony Davis slowed down. Whether it was due to fatigue is up for debate, but what is not is that AD, who played spectacularly for the first 30 or so minutes of the game, slowed down considerably in the final quarter and a half on both ends. Still, Davis led all scorers with 32 points, in addition to recording 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block while shooting 14 of 19 from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line.

Unfortunately, his and LeBron James’ performances were not enough to stave off yet another comeback from the Nuggets, who have now beaten the Lakers 10 games in a row. While James largely took over the offensive end for the Lakers in the fourth quarter en route to a 26-point, 12-assist double-double, Jokic and Murray largely sliced, diced, and rammed through the Lakers’ defense.

Davis, as is the case with most players in the NBA, had no answer for Jokic’s bully ball down the stretch, as the larger, heavier Serbian superstar used his superior power to get inside for easier, high-percentage looks in the paint. On one possession, in particular, though, Davis made a key mistake and fouled Jokic on a layup, which Jokic made and converted into a successful three-point play at the line. The three-point swing put the Nuggets within just a point, which allowed Denver, after a James dunk at the other end, to tie the game up at 95 with a Michael Porter Jr. three-pointer.

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Despite Davis being the one to contest Murray’s game-winner, it cannot be denied AD is one of the very best defenders in the NBA. He anchored a league-average defense for the Lakers this season despite often playing alongside offense-first players such as James, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russel, in addition to missing two high-level defenders in Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent for most of the year.

While not being named one of the three finalists — the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert, San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama, and the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo were the finalists — Davis will likely still earn another All-Defensive team selection and remain one of the best defenders in the league.

AD and the Lakers have a chance to snap the Nuggets’ 10-game winning streak against them on Thursday, April 25.

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