Although the Los Angeles Lakers came up short against the Dallas Mavericks, it did not matter in the grand scheme of things as Anthony Davis looked healthy in his first game back in over two months.
Davis was on a strict minutes restriction and only appeared in the first half, but looked good running up and down the court. Although he only finished with four points and four rebounds, it was good to see him look to be aggressive offensively and defensively make the right rotations as well as challenge shots at the rim.
The game against Dallas also marked the first time Davis and Andre Drummond started alongside each other. When asked what it was like playing next to Davis, Drummond could not help but express his excitement.
“It was definitely incredible to have AD out there,” Drummond said after the loss. “Just to see him try to get himself into a rhythm and being on the same court as him as a teammate was a surreal moment for me. It felt like we were kids again playing USA Basketball.
“It’s going to be crazy when he gets back to full form and he’s able to play those 30-35 minutes on the court. Our defense is going to be very scary.”
It was jarring seeing Davis and Drummond next to each other as the two are so physically imposing, and they towered over the Mavericks frontcourt. Drummond would finish the night with 14 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks and it is exciting to imagine what the pairing will look like once Davis is back to form.
Davis spoke at length about his fit with Drummond and noted that the center has been asking questions and trying to see what the two can do better when they share the floor. He also praised Drummond’s ability to adapt, and that should pay dividends once LeBron James also returns to the lineup.
“Our defense was really good to start the game,” Davis said. “We were really talking, flying around. That’s the good thing of having another defensive player out there in Drum.
“Offensively, we’ll just figure it out. It’s something that comes with time. We had one practice together and now 16 minutes to play with each other, so that’s going to come with time. Just like when Bron comes back we’re going to have to reset again and try to get acclimated with him as well, but we’re continuously talking and trying to figure things out. He’s asking questions. I’m trying to direct him where I want him to be where I have the ball in the post. It’s going to take time, but we’re going to figure it out for sure.”
While the pairing was unable to earn a win in their debut together, there is room for optimism that they will figure things out come playoff time.
“You know what, I think today’s game was a trial game for us,” Drummond said. “Seeing how he fit out there with myself as well being on the same court and just trying to build that chemistry right away. We don’t have a lot of time to really do this, so we’ve got to do it with the time we have now.
“We looked great. We’re going to try it again on Saturday and just have fun with it. We’re going to be a great team. Our team is starting to come back healthy and sky is the limit for us.”
Drummond to take backseat on offense
With Davis officially back, it is more than likely that Drummond’s role as a focal point is reduced. Davis will command more touches in the post and mid-post areas, leaving Drummond to have to fend for himself in the dunker spot or off putbacks.
However, this is the ideal situation for Drummond as he can focus on what he does best and that should help the Lakers in the long run.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!