Although Anthony Davis was given a game off to rest for the first time in the 2019-20 NBA season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were still able to keep their stellar start to the year going with a dominant 120-94 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Davis has done a stellar job of playing at a high level while dealing with shoulder and rib injuries thus far. Regardless, the Lakers showed they are willing to take a cautious approach in order to ensure there are no lingering effects that may become an issue down the line.
Despite their success early on, the Los Angeles roster is still getting acclimated with one another and it is clear this team is still far from a finished product. The more time Davis misses now, the longer it will take for everyone to eventually get on the same page.
While Davis would ideally like to play any chance he gets, he admits it is nice to see his team still getting the job done, Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I want to play,” Davis said. “But obviously saying that, the training staff will probably be more reluctant to [let me play]. If it’s still bothering me a little bit, [they’ll] have me sit out. Or if it’s feeling good, I’m going to play. … Just to know that the way the team played when I sat out, I don’t have to be in a rush to get back.”
Davis added it will be tough trying to balance his immediate desire to play and what is ultimately best for the team in the long run.
“It’s super tough,” Davis said. “It’s a long season. It’s early in the season. You don’t want to continue to play through something and then it gets worse. So it’s always sitting in the back of your head. But at the same time, you want to play. So you got to listen to your body, be honest with the training staff and try to do what you can. Kind of do what’s best for the betterment of the team.”
Davis’ comments are certainly understandable considering he and James have lived up to the billing as arguably the most formidable duo in the NBA. Fortunately, he seems to understand that he will need to be as close to 100 percent as possible in order to meet the championship expectations that were set when he was traded.
Davis is currently averaging 25.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game this season.
It is safe to say Davis is still scratching the surface of his potential while dealing with injuries and getting used to his new teammates.