Lakers News: Thomas Bryant Happy To Have Anthony Davis’ Presence Back On The Court
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed back their superstar big man Anthony Davis on Wednesday night as they defeated the San Antonio Spurs. Head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers coaching staff are still being cautious with Davis, however, keeping him on a minutes restriction and bringing him off the bench, which leaves Thomas Bryant as the starting center for the time being.

Bryant has thrived in the role so far, doing his best to make up for what the team is missing in Davis, an impossible job to say the least. While Bryant certainly gave his best effort, the team is undoubtedly happy to see Davis back in the lineup and Bryant was chief among those excited.

“It was really great,” Bryant said after the contest. “It wasn’t even good, it was great. Just to have his presence, have his dominance right back out there on the floor, you guys saw it right then and there coming right out of the gate and being aggressive and doing what he does best. It’s a great thing to see.”

Davis took some time to get re-acclimated, but once he was comfortable looked just like his normal self. Davis finished with a team-high 21 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four blocks in just 26 minutes and Bryant noted that Davis’ impact on the Lakers was felt immediately.

“Absolutely,” Bryant added. “We felt it on the bench, out there on the floor. Like I said, just having his presence out there with his dominance, I think everybody feels it out there. The fans, us and even the other team I feel like felt it too.”

Davis’ energy was undoubtedly at another level after almost six weeks of being out due to injury and he wanted to make sure his presence was known immediately. As important as it was on offense, it was arguably more important on the defensive end not just with his blocks, but the number of shots he alters.

Just having Davis on the court changes everything for the Lakers and as Bryant said, it could be felt immediately. Now it will be on the Lakers to build on this and start stringing wins together to get themselves right in the thick of the playoff race.

Anthony Davis felt ‘great’ in Lakers return

While there was a bit of a scare at the end of the third quarter when Anthony Davis came down on the foot of Spurs’ big man Zach Collins and turned his ankle. Those fears were calmed when Davis popped back up and knocked down three free throws. Overall, Davis was in good spirits following the contest.

After the game, Davis said he felt ‘great’ in his return and that his foot felt fine as well adding that being back on the court was the ‘ultimate test’ for his foot. Now the Lakers’ big man will look to pick up right where he left off before the injury as the Lakers hit the road for a five-game trip.

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