It took a few games, but Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis finally looks to be returning to form after coming back from a right foot stress injury.
Davis has started to resemble the MVP-caliber player he was at the beginning of the 2022-23 season and that was on full display in the massive comeback win against the Dallas Mavericks. Davis led all scorers with 30 points to go along with 15 rebounds, but he was also a force defensively as he patrolled the paint and deterred several shots at the rim.
The star big man is hitting his stride again and emphasized that no matter how well or poorly he’s playing he’s staying confident in himself, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“My confidence is always high. Tonight our shooters, us as a team, wasn’t shooting the ball great so I just wanted to be a little bit more aggressive. We were running some plays where I was able to catch the ball and make decisions. Just coming out and being aggressive and doing what I have to do to help the team win and then just making reads from there. Whether it’s going to a pick and roll, or shooting the ball or making a play for a teammate. I just want to come out and be aggressive each and every night.”
No one could have predicted Los Angeles would rally against Dallas considering how well the latter was shooting from the outside. The Mavericks outscored the Lakers by 42 points from distance, but the purple and gold fought back thanks to Davis who dominated his matchups inside.
Dallas had no answers for Davis who either bullied his way to the rim or rained jumpers over his defenders. In the closing minutes, the 29-year-old came up with a huge offensive board and dunk and followed it up with a tough shot over Luka Doncic to give the Lakers enough breathing room.
At his best, there aren’t many players who can hit the ceiling that Davis can and that’s why Los Angeles should be considered a serious threat if they end up making the playoffs. There’s a lot more work to be done, but the Lakers have to feel good about where they are if Davis continues to play this well.
Jarred Vanderbilt enjoys challenge of guarding superstars like Luka Doncic
While Davis led the Lakers offensively, it was Jarred Vanderbilt who served as the catalyst for the comeback. Vanderbilt was seemingly everywhere on the court making plays, but his biggest contributions came on defense where he took the challenge of guarding Luka Doncic. After the win, Vanderbilt acknowledged he relishes the opportunity to guard the NBA’s best.
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