Shaquille O’Neal made headlines recently when he challenged Anthony Davis to step up his game and dominate. Now, the NBA legend is calling out AD again in order to maintain their rivalry.

Shaquille O’Neal is not one to mince words. He has been vocal about his thoughts on Anthony Davis, and he isn’t afraid to share them either. Read more in detail here: when did shaq retire.

Shaquille O'Neal Adamantly Challenges Anthony Davis to Step Up His Game: 'AD Has to Dominate'

During the first quarter of the 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled. The team’s ongoing flaws have sparked heightened criticism and scrutiny, with outsiders increasingly doubting the team’s ability to contend for an NBA championship. Shaquille O’Neal, a Hall of Famer, went even farther to emphasize the team’s problems by naming Anthony Davis.

The Lakers are still struggling to establish consistency.

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The Lakers have fumbled through a difficult transition period as a result of their rebuilt squad after a hectic summer.

Due to massive injuries, the team’s on-court struggles have worsened, with LeBron James missing 12 games. These issues, along with poor performance, have kept the Lakers in the.500 range through the first 25 games, with a 13-12 record.

Due to the Lakers’ continuous problems, a former franchise great has publicly chastised star forward Anthony Davis.

Shaquille O’Neal has issued a direct challenge to Anthony Davis to improve his game: ‘AD needs to be in charge.’

Beyond a lack of actual consistency and on-court chemistry, the Lakers’ problems originate from a slew of concerns.

As a result of the extra scrutiny, the eight-time All-performance Star’s has been criticized as a factor in Los Angeles’ slow start. Shaquille O’Neal, speaking on TNT’s Inside the NBA pregame program before of the Lakers’ game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, agreed with Charles Barkley that Davis must dominate.

“Well, Charles raises an excellent issue, and Mr. AD must address it,” he remarked. “When you have a one-two punch, both punches must be equal.” We keep talking about LeBron, and we all know how good he is, but Mr. AD hasn’t performed very well. For a player of his quality, a 19% three-point shooting percentage is unacceptable. And the way he’s been playing isn’t good enough. They’re elderly, and they’re not always focused. They are feared by no team. When it’s too late, they attempt to flip the switch. Because they are veterans, they are coasting.

“Right now, they’re saying, ‘We’re seventh, but we’re two games out of fourth, so we may be able to gain home-court advantage.’ Hopefully, they will be able to turn it on. However, AD must take the lead. Chuck claims to be one of the top players on the team. Charles Barkley is correct, and I agree with him. He’s not playing like that right now, and he has to start doing so immediately. Regardless of what Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are doing, AD must be the team’s No. 2 punch. When LeBron isn’t available, AD needs to step up.”

Davis is having yet another great season, averaging 24.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. His offensive troubles, on the other hand, have been obvious. His outside shooting remains a concern, as he’s shooting 18.8 percent from 3-point range and 72.2 percent from the free-throw line, both career lows. It’s worth noting that he’s now leading the league in paint points.

With James out due to injury, Davis is under even more pressure to be the team’s driving force. O’Neal’s comments only serve to emphasize how important he is to the Lakers’ NBA championship hopes.

The Lakers are making strides ahead.

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The Lakers haven’t looked like an NBA championship contender, but there’s still time for them to turn things around.

Los Angeles has recently rediscovered some form, winning three of their last four games. Although the opponents aren’t of the highest caliber (Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings), it’s still a positive step forward.

Aside from that, important contributors have improved their performance for the Lakers. Russell Westbrook has turned the corner in his past eight games, averaging 23.5 points, 8.9 assists, and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. His +39 is the greatest plus-minus by a Lakers starter in that time period, according to Stat Muse.

With James back on the court, Westbrook has been able to relax into his position as the team’s third scorer. The Lakers are still a long way from being a championship contender, but they are improving.

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RELATED: LeBron James Calms Frank Vogel’s Fury by Defending the Lakers’ Criticized Coach in Public

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