Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis was one of the more popular NBA All-Star snubs in the league this season.
Davis had a strong first half of the season, putting up MVP-type numbers including a 44-point outing in a road win against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. He followed that up with a 55-point explosion against the Washington Wizards on 73% shooting from the field.
All seemed well for Davis until he suffered a right stress injury in mid-December. The injury put him out indefinitely and he missed more than a month of action. Since his return, Davis gradually got his step back, including consecutive 30-point outings.
However, he still wasn’t voted an All-Star, the second consecutive time in his career and first time in back-to-back years. Before the 2021-22 season, Davis was an All-Star for eight straight years.
Davis instead stayed away from the festivities in Salt Lake City. He reflected on what rest during the All-Star break did for him and his teammates, according to NBA.com’s Mark Medina:
“It gives you a chance for your body to recover physically. It lets you recover mentally and get away from the game for a little bit. Come back with a new sense of urgency and new sense of spirit for the last 23 games not just for me, but for our team. Obviously, with everything going on with our team, you kind of get away from basketball and the organization and everything. You kind of come back with a reset. I thought we had a great practice today. Guys were eager. Guys were ready. We’re ready to go tomorrow.”
The Lakers currently sit at 13th in the Western Conference, two games behind the final Play-In Game spot. With multiple new additions to the team, the All-Star break could have served as extra time for those players to get acclimated further — a process Davis said has to be sped up.
For Davis, the time off also meant more rest and time to ensure his body is fully healthy for this final stretch. It’s no secret his availability is paramount for L.A.’s potential playoff push.
With 23 games left in the season and if he’s available for all of them, Davis potentially will play the most games in a season (58) since the 2019-20 season when he played 62. But, looking at Davis’ injury history, nothing can be guaranteed.
Darvin Ham would like to see NBA implement bye week similar to NFL
The grueling NBA schedule has developed a load management trend with players sitting out more games. Fewer players are playing all 82 games in a season, a sign that the NBA has key decisions to make if this trend continues.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had a simple solution — adopting a bye week since the NFL’s extension of its season pushed the All-Star break back a week. With the league’s collective bargaining agreement due to expire soon, radical changes may be coming to the NBA schedule.
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