Anthony Davis returned to the starting lineup after missing five games against the Boston Celtics but did not look like the dominant player the Los Angeles Lakers have become accustomed to seeing during the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Lakers as a team struggled to get anything going on both ends of the floor, but Davis was clearly trying to work his way back as he looked tentative and out of sync during his 23 minutes of action. As a result, he and Los Angeles suffered their worst loss of the season.
However, things were much different in the team’s 100-92 win over the New York Knicks as Davis looked much more comfortable going up against a frontcourt that had no answer for him.
In his walk-off interview, Davis admitted that he needed to get going offensively to help his team secure the win, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah. Obviously, any player knows that if you get to the line, you kind of get a rhythm and I just wanted to get my rhythm back. Just try to be aggressive and get to the free throw line. That’s all it was.
I mean obviously, this is a tough place to play. This team is young and they hungry… they’re physical, so we knew it was going to be a battle. But me personally, just trying to be more aggressive and knowing the more aggressive I be, the better it help my team.”
The All-Star led Los Angeles in scoring, pouring in 28 points on 7-of-14 shooting while hitting all 13 of his free throw attempts. He also did a solid job of finding his teammates as he added five assists on the evening.
Davis only managed nine points against the Celtics, but was much more proactive in looking to attack the Knicks big men as he either shot the open midrange jumper or took advantage of them in the post, scoring or drawing fouls in the process.
The 26-year-old currently leads the purple and gold in scoring as LeBron James has happily taken a backseat to his new teammate, and his aggressiveness on the offensive end is what can take the Lakers over the top. Davis’ ability to score in a variety of ways makes him a mismatch nightmare and he will need to continue to have a scorer’s mindset.
For now, the Lakers will need to quickly regroup as they take on the Brooklyn Nets on the second end of a back-to-back situation.