The Los Angeles Lakers suffered two disappointing losses against the Dallas Mavericks despite Anthony Davis returning from his calf/Achilles injury.
The 28-year-old All-Star visibly dealt with rustiness that crept into his game during the two-month layoff. Davis shot 2-for-10 scoring four points in the first loss to the Mavericks and made five buckets in 19 attempts for the total of 17 points during the 108-93 defeat on Saturday.
Head coach Frank Vogel said he understood that phasing Davis back into the team would require time and could potentially affect the team’s performance. “It’s going to be a working progress,” he said. “He’s playing with a new teammate and trying to get his legs under him. It’s going to be a little disjointed at times.
“Hopefully, it doesn’t cost us too many games. I think there were some good sequences tonight, but obviously not good enough overall.”
Vogel said Davis’ shooting woes were to be expected in the first few games after making his comeback. The coach also said the medical staff would keep reassessing the need to restrict the forward’s time on the floor and it should increase with each game, as it did on Saturday when he played 28 minutes. “We’re hopeful,” he said.
“We’ll see how he responds overnight and the medical team gives me the recommendation. They’re counting not just total minutes, but how many stoppages there are while he’s in there, so there is some flexibility there. Hopefully, that continues to go up.”
Although Davis hasn’t looked like himself yet, it’s a huge positive for the Lakers that he is coming out of these games feeling healthy. He still has around 12 games to continue to get back into top form.
Davis: Games against Magic, Wizards are ‘must-wins’
Davis said he is gradually regaining his rhythm and reestablishing chemistry with teammates. But even though he knows the process will take time, the forward said L.A. needed wins in the coming weeks after allowing the sixth-placed Mavericks to come close to the Lakers in the standings.
“I think we got like 12 games left before the playoffs so these last 12 will be crucial for us and we got to be able to get some wins. But it’s a tough one for us and Orlando and D.C. are must-wins for us, for sure.”
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