The new-look Lakers have question marks already, despite being only one game into the 2021-22 season. Since the roster was compiled with another superstar in Russell Westbrook, the questions about how this Laker team will work have been rampant.
The Lakers currently have three former NBA scoring champions in LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is going to be the sixth man off the bench, at least that is how it appears so far. This leaves James, Westbrook, and Davis as the candidates in the starting lineup for who will lead the team in scoring.
When asking Laker fans this question, the answer most of them answered was at least somewhat surprising.
The Case for Davis
Anthony Davis has never been a scoring champion. He has scored 28 PPG in two consecutive seasons in New Orleans and his career average is 23.9 PPG. That's a score. So what if he hasn't won a scoring title? As Shaquille O'Neal once said, "feed the big man." The Lakers have subtly and not-so-subtly said during the preseason that they want Anthony Davis to be the big man that is fed.
The game may have changed, but feeding the big man still wins games. When Davis scores, the Lakers tend to win. This is how they took home a championship in the 2020 bubble.
In the only game the Lakers have played so far, LeBron James has 34 points. If James leads the team in scoring, nobody will be surprised. It may not be in the Lakers best interest if James always leads the team in scoring, however. James is coming into his 19th NBA season. The wear and tear on a player's body are immense after 19 years, even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime player like James. The Lakers will be better suited if someone like Davis leads the team in scoring.
The Most Ideal Situation
Instead of one player putting up 29 PPG, the Lakers best hopes lie in the idea of multiple players averaging around 21 points a game. If the Lakers share the ball the way they are certainly aiming to, James and Davis should score around 21 points a game, with Westbrook at 15. This is just the best way to share the ball and make best use of the absurd amount of talent on the front line. Anthony could average 12-15 off the bench. Regardless, the Lakers need to use their talent to create good shots for everyone.