Anthony Davis missed an open three pointer at the buzzer on Tuesday night as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 104-102. The loss gave the talking heads a chance to point out a glaring weakness for the Lakers after four straight wins, including victories over the Bucks and Clippers. The problem? Anthony Davis isn't clutch. Here's Colin Cowherd laying out the cold, hard facts.
If you don't want to watch the video, he basically says that AD stinks in the clutch because he's 58th in the league in fourth quarter scoring. Oh, and the Clippers thought AD wasn't a closer and they now know for sure that they were right because he blew this easy game winner. Well... about that.
According to NBA.com, Davis is currently 40th in fourth quarter scoring with 5.0 points per fourth quarter. Not bad considering he is 176th in fourth quarter minutes. And since Colin pointed out he's a great defender, I'll mention that he's fourth in blocks per fourth quarter.
That seems pretty decent, especially considering the light minutes he plays in the fourth because of how well he plays earlier in all those games that the Lakers have won. Davis is scoring more per fourth quarter than Kyle Lowry - an NBA Champion - and Jimmy Butler - a certified Clutch Performer. Besides, you know that fourth quarter scoring is a super-important analytic because Trae Young is second in the league with 8.7 points per fourth quarter for the 20-46 Atlanta Hawks. And Zach LaVine is ninth for the 22-win Chicago Bulls.
As for last night's fourth quarter. The one where Colin and the Clippers confirmed their suspicions when Davis missed the wide-open three that would have won the game, moments after LeBron James missed the layup that would have tied the game? Just how invisible and / or bad was Davis?
Well, he scored 8 of LA's final 10 points over the final 4:01. He hit a three with 3:23 remaining to put the Lakers within three and then tied the game with another three pointer with 43.1 seconds left on the clock. In summary, he hit two of three three-pointers in the last four minutes of a 5-point game. I believe those count as clutch stats. I'm not sure Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard or anyone else you consider a great shooter or a clutch performer would be upset if they only made two of three in that situation.
Look, I know that Anthony Davis is truly a fraud until proven otherwise in a playoff scenario. The good news is that he'll have plenty of opportunities this spring. The Lakers are going to play a bunch of playoff games and if Anthony Davis is open, LeBron James is going to get him the ball.
AD is going to have more opportunities to show just how good he is in the clutch than he has had in his entire career. And if he comes through two out of three times, I doubt anyone will beat the Lakers.