The Los Angeles Lakers’ Big 3 has reunited for the first time in over a month, as Anthony Davis returned from his knee injury in Tuesday’s win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Davis clocked in over 24 minutes at Barclays Center, scoring eight points, collecting two rebounds, and adding two assists, one steal, and four blocks. The 28-year-old All-Star moved well considering he had watched the previous 17 games from the sidelines.
LeBron James tried to get the forward involved from the very first second of the win against the Nets, sending a lob pass Davis finished with an alley-oop jam to get the Lakers on the scoreboard. After the game, James said L.A. benefits from the 28-year-old All-Star’s mere presence on the court.
“He just makes our team so much more complete,” the four-time NBA champion said. “Our length defensively, our ability to really get up in people’s faces because we know we got him at the rim, or our ability to switch a lot of things because he can literally guard one through five.
“Offensively, it just attracts another set of eyes off of myself, off of Russ, off of Melo, off of Malik [Monk], off everybody because he’s such a dynamic player.
The Tuesday win marked the 16th time the Lakers’ Big 3 played together in the same game due to James’ early-season injuries and Davis’ recent break. The 37-year-old superstar stressed the importance of the team’s leading trio spending as much time on the court together as possible moving forward.
“The more minutes that we log, we continue to see how dynamic we can be both offensively and defensively and it also puts everybody in their regular positions,” James said. “We just try to stay in rhythm as a team. We want to continue to work on habits, but along the way we want to win ball games as well.
“We look forward to our next challenge playing against a great Philly team. They’re playing exceptional basketball led by one of the hottest guys in the league in Joel [Embiid]. As we continue to get better, we continue to log these minutes and see what happens next.”
Davis explains how his observations during knee rehab influenced his play
Davis said his thoughts on the Lakers’ play he collected during knee rehab helped him prepare for the Tuesday comeback.
“We struggled a little bit on defense, we wasn’t talking. Guys weren’t in the right position so I tried to come in tonight and just quarterback the whole defense,” Davis said.
“And then also, the way we were playing offensively was really good. The things that we were doing, the adjustments that we made playing a five-out offense and guys running to set screens, Bron and Melo. It kind of confused people, so I tried to do the same thing in my first game back, wasn’t trying to get into too many isos or force up shots, trying to screen, roll and get guys in positions where the entire team could be successful.
“And I was able to do that tonight, we were able to do that tonight which led us to a win.”
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