After missing five games due to a gluteus maximus contusion, Anthony Davis returned to the Los Angeles Lakers starting lineup against the Boston Celtics.
However, Davis was clearly still finding his rhythm and timing as he only managed to score nine points on 3-of-7 shooting to go along with four rebounds.
His lackluster performance should have been expected given his absence and lack of playing and practice time since injuring himself, but it was still disappointing to see him largely invisibly after the first quarter.
“We didn’t rebound. Offensive rebounds killed us. We had some turnovers. They were more physical. They just basically did whatever they want the whole night and we didn’t respond, so we can’t do afford to do that especially on the road against a team like this… or against any team. We gotta make sure we come out and be the one that’s aggressive. We’re hitting guys first, we’re rebounding the basketball and running. That’s when we’re at our best. We didn’t do a good job of keeping Kanter off the glass and guys were able to get out in transition a little bit and score too. We just didn’t play well on both ends of the floor.
Boston executed their game plan to a tee as they were able to effectively contain Davis and LeBron James and moved the ball well on offense en route to scoring 139 points, the most points Los Angeles has given up during the 2019-20 NBA season. Like Davis mentioned, there was a stark difference in the rebounding department as the Celtics grabbed 12 more than the Lakers and used that to fuel their halfcourt offense in the first half.
Defensively, the purple and gold had issues containing the Celtics key players as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker all scored 20 or more points, taking advantage of the team’s spotty defensive coverages. Tatum, in particular, was a nuisance as he had his jumper working all night, shooting 10-of-18 from the field including an impressive 5-of-8 from the three-point line.
This type of performance seems like it could be an outlier for Davis and the Lakers as it is not like them to go down big and not make a rally at some point over the course of the game. Regardless, they need to move on and focus their attention on the New York Knicks if they hope to avoid another letdown.