Did Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets break Anthony Davis?

There’s just over a month until the Denver Nuggets tip off their 2023-24 season against the Los Angeles Lakers. The banner night matchup will serve as a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, where the Nuggets swept the Lakers to advance to the NBA Finals.

When L.A. comes into town for the opener, their starting lineup may look a little different, or at least Anthony Davis hopes so.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Davis has been very vocal to the Lakers about his disinterest in playing the center position going forward.

“Sources told ESPN that Davis made it clear to the organization he wanted to have more support at center so he wouldn’t have to play so much 5 during the regular season,” McMenamin wrote.

Now, Davis has been opposed to manning the middle for quite some time. However, McMenamin’s report was in correlation with L.A.’s recent signing of Christian Wood, who could provide relief for the former No. 1 overall pick.

Did Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets serve as the final straw for Anthony Davis?

It’s interesting that the Lakers decided to honor Davis’ request at this point in time — not to say that Wood is going to move the needle for them after being unable to find a concrete role in the Dallas Mavericks’ paper-thin center rotation last year.

Again, the Nuggets just swept The Brow and his teammates behind a dominant showing from Nikola Jokic, who was Davis’ main assignment throughout the series. Prior to running into Denver, Davis had been making a major impact protecting the rim.

Despite the strong defensive output in the early rounds, Davis was unable to slow down the Serbian in the Conference Finals. Jokic averaged a triple-double, posting 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists per game on 50.6%/47.1% shooting splits against the Lakers.

This is clearly a cry for help from Davis after he could do nothing to stop The Joker in the playoffs, right?

Well, surely Wood — known for his defensive prowess — will be the answer.