Anthony Davis is returning to the line-up after missing twenty straight games due to a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot. In the 25 games that Davis played, he was averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 blocks per game on 59.4% from the field. Davis was playing at an All-NBA level and some of the best basketball of his career before suffering the injury against the Denver Nuggets on December 16th.
What This Means
Davis returning to the lineup is critical for this Los Angeles Lakers team, who are currently thirteenth in the Western Conference at 22-26. However, they remain only 2 1/2 games behind the sixth seed and 1 1/2 games behind a play-in spot.
Lakers went 10-10 in the 20 games that Davis has missed, which is impressive when you consider the other injuries the team has incurred as well. Austin Reaves has been out with a hamstring injury and Lonnie Walker IV has missed time due to left knee tendinitis. Walker IV is expected to return to action soon.
The main reason the Lakers have been able to stay afloat is the play of LeBron James in his 20th season. James is averaging a ridiculous 30.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists per game on 50.9% percent shooting. When you combine the play of James and Davis together, the Lakers can make a run at securing a playoff spot. But as we all know, health is the most important thing for this team’s success. When Davis returns, the big man is expected to be on a minutes restriction according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. This will allow Davis to slowly get himself back into game shape.
Lakers have a tough schedule coming ahead of them so these next ten games will be crucial for them. The team just acquired Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second round draft picks. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in a press conference recently more moves could be on the horizon to improve the roster towards competing for a championship. A plethora of names have been thrown out there but none of that matters until anything comes to fruition. This should be an interesting next few weeks for the Lakers for the better or for worse.
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