Anthony Davis returned to form in his second game back from injury, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 34 minutes, but if the Lakers are to capitalize off his strong play, they’ll need some help from other sources as well.
Davis returned two nights ago in a win over the Nets in Brooklyn after missing 17 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Starting at center, his return was a welcome sight for Lakers fans who have seen their ball club hover around the .500 mark for the majority of the season.
Davis had not played since Dec. 17 and in his absence, the Lakers went 7-10. Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel indicated that Davis would be on a minutes restriction, but did not elaborate as to what the limit would be.
Against Philadelphia, however, Davis saw his minutes increase, and his productivity flourished as a result. He was influential on both ends of the floor in his 34 minutes on-court. In spite of his efforts, the Lakers looked lethargic on the front end of a back-to-back.
“I thought he played really well, it was great to see him get a rhythm,” said Vogel. “Anthony played a hell of a game on both sides of the ball.”
Given that the Lakers have played such long stretches without all of their Big Three healthy at the same time this season, and now will be without LeBron James for an undetermined amount of time, the team will need the rest of their roster to step up.
Vogel suggested that he expected guys like Russell Westbrook to up their game during the absences of the other stars.
“I think we would all hoped to have been better,” he said. “I think that’s one of the reasons we went out to get Russ is to handle one of those guys being out better than we did last year. So, 7-10 is something where we wish we could’ve done better.”
Against Philadelphia, Westbrook had 20 points and four rebounds, but the Lakers’ other role players struggled to have much impact – Malik Monk went 3-of-13, Stanley Johnson 1-of-6, Avery Bradley just 1-of-4 and the entire bench just 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) combined.
Los Angeles is 2-2 on their six-game Grammy road trip with another game at Charlotte on Friday, before closing out the trip with a game at Atlanta on Sunday.
As for his availability for tomorrow, the 3rd game in 4 nights since he returned from the knee injury, AD said he’ll “Wake up tomorrow and see how (his knee) feels” before they determine his status against Charlotte.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 28, 2022
The Lakers know that a dominant Anthony Davis puts them in a better position to win games, but to move up the West standings, they’re going to need more from the rest of the team.
Lakers upcoming schedule 2021-22
|Date||Opponent||Time (ET)||National TV|
|Jan. 27||at 76ers||7:30 p.m.||TNT|
|Jan. 28||at Hornets||7:30 p.m||ESPN|
|Jan. 30||at Hawks||1:00 p.m.||—|
|Feb. 2||vs. Trail Blazers||10:30 p.m.||—|
|Feb. 3||at Clippers||10:00 p.m.||TNT|
|Feb. 5||vs. Knicks||8:30 p.m.||ABC|