The Los Angeles Lakers have been without Anthony Davis for over a month after he suffered a calf strain at the beginning of February. L.A. currently sits at 5-6 without him in the lineup, but have also been missing several other key pieces in most of those games.
Without Davis, the Lakers have struggled to protect the rim and find offensive rhythm, often getting themselves into extended scoring droughts. However, just because Davis is off the floor, it doesn’t mean that he’s not making an impact.
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said that Davis’ injury has actually helped the superstar big man become a more vocal leader. “I think this time out has been great for AD,” Kuzma said. “In the year-and-a-half I’ve been playing with him, this is probably the most vocal from a leadership standpoint he’s been. And it’s been great to see.
“During timeouts he’s always talking to the guys, he’s got his iPad looking over players and showing us on the bench, talking. It’s just great, especially for him, I think that’s the next step for him especially when he gets back is being that type of leader that’s talking. We respect him, he’s Anthony Davis and we know how great he is. Anytime he says something we listen to it, so we need more of it.”
LeBron James, who is one of the NBA’s best and most vocal leaders, also had positive things to say about Davis’ growth since his injury. “I just think he’s just trying to lead any way possible.
“Obviously he can’t be on the floor and be able to do the things that he does at a high level so he’s just giving his word to a lot of the guys, being there for them, showing them things on the iPad, film stuff throughout the course of the game, and just being helpful to our ballclub as much as he can be. I think that’s great for our ball team.”
In his first eight seasons, Davis was known as a lead-by-example type. And while that works in certain situations, it’s a positive thing to see him become more vocal and active as a leader.
One of the things that defined the 2019-20 Lakers was chemistry. With all of the new pieces L.A. introduced in the offseason, having Davis transform into that type of person will be a huge help in maintaining locker room stability when he is unable to play.
Davis could be out at least three more weeks
The Lakers officially announced last Friday that Davis would be re-evaluated in two weeks, or March 26. However, recent rumors suggest that Davis could be out even longer.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports revealed that Davis’ absence may extend to three weeks and beyond, meaning he would not make his return until some time in April.
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