Somewhat improbably, the Los Angeles Lakers have been able to stay competitive without superstar big man Anthony Davis, who suffered a stress injury in his right foot in December. This is due in large part to the outstanding play of LeBron James, who has shown he remains one of the best players in basketball despite being in his 20th NBA season.
The good news is that Davis is continuing to progress extremely well from his injury and it looks as if his return to the lineup will come sooner rather than later. This obviously extremely exciting for James and the rest of the Lakers, but the NBA legend is trying to keep his emotions in check.
Following the Lakers’ improbable 25-point comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night, LeBron was asked if he is anticipating Davis’ imminent return to the Lakers. James made it clear that he wants Davis to take however long he needs in order to return at 100 percent, via NBA.com:
“I don’t wanna get too excited, because I just know what he brings to our ballclub. I want him to just take as much time as he needs and when he’s ready, when he feels like he’s ready to put on a uniform and I see him run out with us then I’ll get excited again. But right now I’m locked in on getting this ballclub and putting them in a position to be successful every night. We all can’t wait for AD to get back obviously, but whenever that moment is we’ll be super excited. But I’m locked in right now on what I need to do personally and for this ballclub. So you’ll see the same from me no matter what.”
With Davis’ injury history, as well as the track record of big men having their careers completely altered due to foot issues, there is no doubt that the right move is for Davis to take his time and ensure that he is completely 100 percent healthy when he does step back on the court.
LeBron has been dominant in his absence, averaging 32.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.0 assists in the Lakers’ last 10 games. And before he went down with injury, Davis was perhaps the most dominant force in the entire NBA, averaging 27.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting a career-best 59.4 percent from the field.
If he needs to take an extra week in order to return right back at that level, it is worth it to wait, especially as LeBron continues to put together ridiculous performances. If James can maintain that level of play and Davis returns looking like he did before the injury, the Lakers will be extremely difficult for any team to handle.
LeBron James named Western Conference Player of the Week
And James’ play has earned him yet another accolade as he was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks. LeBron averaged 35.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field and leading the Lakers to a 3-1 week.
This marks the 67th weekly award that James has won with six of those coming since he joined the Lakers in 2018. With Davis out, LeBron continues to be the driving force of the team and it has allowed the Lakers to somehow tread water without their star big man.
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