Because of Houston’s unconventional, super-small formula that features 6’5″ P.J. Tucker at center, this series has doubled as a battle for the soul of the NBA center. And after Tucker locked up Davis in the Rockets’ blowout win in Game 1 on Friday, it appeared as though Houston’s experiment might work. Davis scored 25 points in that game but was unable to keep up with Tucker or assert his will offensively.
On Sunday, in a series-tying 117-109 Lakers win, Davis was the force of nature he can be and will need to be every night for this team, which is deeply flawed outside of himself and LeBron James, to reach its championship ceiling.