Lakers’ Jeremy Lin, Ed Davis could start soon

Nearly every time he touched the ball, Jeremy Lin performed acts of magic that left everyone in awe.

He attacked the basket with relentlessness. Lin threw passes behind his back, over his shoulder and between defenders to set up open shots for teammates. He fulfilled all of these duties despite nursing back spasms had sent his alignment off six to eight inches only four days ago.

Nearly every time someone else touched the ball, Ed Davis performed acts of magic that left everyone in shock.

He swatted away shots like a volleyball player. He wiped the glass like a window cleaner. He ran up and down the court like a track runner.

Mix all those ingredients together, and Lin and Davis kept the Lakers well nourished in their 101-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at Staples Center. Lin fed the Lakers with a season-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting and five assists. Davis stuffed the box score with a team-high 11 rebounds and four blocks. And after passing up opportunities to pair the two together, Lakers coach Byron Scott strongly suggested both Lin and Davis will become part of the Lakers’ starting lineup.

“I’ll consider it,” Scott said. “It’s something I’m thinking about. But I’ll let you guys know soon.”

Perhaps as soon as when the Lakers (18-50) visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-3) on Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. That left Lin conceding, “obviously I want to start” after losing that spot only 20 games into the 2014-15 season. That left Davis claiming the move “doesn’t matter,” aware that he has started in 24 games and come off the bench in 44 others.

But the idea of Lin and Davis playing more together? Both of their eyes lit up with as much speed as it took for them to form an instant connection.

“He’s a pick and roll guy. I’m a pick and roll guy,” Davis said of Lin. “I’m trying to set screens and get him open. My man collapses on him and then I’ll be open. I think both of us are pick and roll guys.”

Scott isn’t a pick and roll guy, however. So much that Scott said`earlier this month that he wanted Lin not to play so much pick-and-roll because he believed it disrupted ball movement. Scott argued the Lakers could become more efficient if they varied their offensive approaches.

Yet, Lin and Davis have shown throughout this season that they are pretty efficient together, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

Against Philadelphia, Davis’ screens on two possessions gave Lin enough space to drive to the right block and can two mid-range jumpers. Davis also swatted a shot that landed in the hands of Lin, who then ignited a fast-break and set up Davis with a backwards pass for the open layup.

“He just rolls hard,” Lin said of Davis. “He sets a screen and sets a great pick. He knows how to finish. The thing about Ed is you can give him the ball anywhere and he knows what to do with it. He isn’t trying to do something that isn’t his strength. If you give it to him early, he’ll dribble down and score or you’ll find a corner shooter. Or if you give it to him late, he’ll probably dunk on somebody or finish with his left hand.”

Davis sounded just as eager to provide Lin the credit, arguing “he’s the reason we won.”

“I always tell J Lin that I’m open and to kick it to me,” Davis said. “I’m just trying to help him out and get him open. He feeds the bigs. If he sees you open, he’s going to make the right pass.”

Will that partnership carry over into the starting lineup? Or will Scott stick with his current rotation? Will this yield to Davis securing a long-term deal with the Lakers after opting out of his $1 million player option this summer? Or will he take his talents elsewhere to a team willing to provide more years and money? Will this new development help Lin end the Lakers’ 2014-15 season on a positive note after fighting through inconsistency and Scott’s unconventional offense? Or will the Lakers’ final 15 games just become an audition for Lin to show he belongs elsewhere?

No answers seem fully clear on any of these developments. But through the uncertainty, Lin and Davis will both crave and enjoy each other’s company.


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