Anthony Davis has looked like his old self ever since he returned from his MCL injury in the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Davis is averaging 29.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in his last five games. All these numbers are significantly better than the forward’s season averages — as well as his stats from the title-winning 2019-20 playoffs, when he registered 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
The 28-year-old put up 28 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four blocks in the 122-115 overtime victory over the New York Knicks, carrying the Lakers to their 26th win of the season alongside LeBron James.
After the game, Davis said he reflected on his play during the recent 16-game absence, which helped him make an impact straight after returning to L.A.’s lineup.
“Yes and no. Obviously I knew even though the numbers were kind of there, I didn’t feel like myself, wasn’t helping the team as much as I could have to win basketball games earlier in the year and I take ownership of that,” Davis said. “And when the knee injury happened, I was able to step away from the game and just evaluate myself. Not looking at other guys and what they could be doing, looking at myself in the mirror. I need to bring energy on the defensive end and I kind of just took it upon myself to do since the return.
“No matter who we’re playing, I have to be that for our team and that’s what I’ve been as of late. You see our games have been different, knowing that they feed off me, especially on the defensive end, energy and effort, so I try to bring that every game for our guys and hopefully each night it ends up in a win.”
Head coach Frank Vogel recently said Davis’ strong form in recent weeks bodes well for the Lakers’ title chances, reminding they “won a championship with him with that level of determination.”
Davis wasn’t expecting All-Star selection this year
James will likely represent the Lakers by himself during the 2022 All-Star game, as none of his teammates made either the starting five or the reserves of the two All-Star teams that will lock horns in Cleveland on Feb. 20.
Davis said his omission didn’t surprise him considering he has already missed 21 games in the 2021-22 season.
“I kind of figured I wasn’t [gonna make it] with the amount of games I missed,” Davis said.
“It’s the first time since my rookie year, actually I went to the All-Star my rookie year for the rookie team, so this is the first time in my career where I don’t have to go to All-Star.”
Davis can still technically make an appearance during this year’s All-Star game. For that to happen, NBA commissioner Adam Silver would need to pick the Lakers’ forward as a replacement player, taking the spot of one of the injured All-Stars.
Silver will need to pick at least one replacement player this year, as Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has announced he would miss the 2022 All-Star game with an injury.
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