When the Los Angeles Lakers lost Anthony Davis to a stress reaction injury in his foot, it was well known that it would be an uphill battle for the team to continue its momentum. Not only had Davis emerged as the Lakers’ offensive focal point but, perhaps more importantly, he was the team’s centerpiece on defense.
Davis was the backline of the Lakers’ defense, which is the identity this team was focused on establishing and without him, they have struggled mightily to contain many of the elite players the NBA has to offer. The offense has suffered at times as well, but it is the defense that has completely fallen off and Davis has taken notice.
Despite being injured, Davis has been with the Lakers the entire time and he believes that the team’s biggest problem since he has been out has been on the defensive side of the ball, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I think our main [struggle] is defensively. We took a huge dip defensively. I think maybe three games in a row we gave up like 130 which is not us. It’s not the team we’ve been. Even when I was in the lineup we took some dips, but that’s my biggest thing right now. Obviously being the anchor of the defense and guys thinking like ‘okay, AD in on the back line’ which allows us to do different schemes defensively when I’m on the floor. Just been trying to give these guys my insight on the defensive end, looking at clips, grabbing the iPad and showing guys when they come out, things like that. The offense though, we’ve been scoring. We just haven’t been defending and that’s where our struggles have been. Transition, rebounding, everything on the defensive end.”
The Lakers’ defensive slide is something that was pretty predictable. The Lakers are already lacking in size so losing Davis as a rim protector was something that just can’t be replaced with anyone on the roster. Thomas Bryant has played admirably in Davis’ absence, but he is an offensive-minded player and can’t come close to matching Davis defensively.
In fairness, there aren’t more than a handful of players in the entire NBA who can do what Davis does on the defensive end and that is where the Lakers miss him most. It does look as if he is on the road to recovery and there is no doubt that the Lakers can’t wait to have him back on the floor, anchoring their defense once again.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis says foot is healing ‘pretty quickly’
Anthony Davis sounded pretty positive about how his foot is healing. Davis is dealing with a stress reaction in his foot, but gave an update on the injury, noting that it is healing ‘pretty quickly’ and he will get more imaging on it when the team returns to L.A. from their current road trip.
Should everything continue to look good, Davis hopes to ramp up the on-court work and hopefully get back on the court sooner rather than later where he plans to pick up right where he left off.
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