How Anthony Davis’ return affects the Lakers
It’s a welcome sight for Lakers fans as star big man Anthony Davis is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Spurs despite a questionable tag. Davis has missed five and a half weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his foot.
AD IS BACK TOMORROW 😈 pic.twitter.com/hhMS5UmNVU— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 25, 2023
If AD returns to action, he will be on a 20-24 minutes restriction as he eases back into game shape.
The 29-year-old was having an MVP-level campaign before going down, averaging 27/12/3 with 2.1 blocks and shooting 59.4%.
Getting AD back in the lineup could catapult LA up the standings. Despite sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference, the Lakers are just three games back of the 5th seed. Adding a superstar back to the lineup will help significantly.
Lakers are going to be 11-10 since AD went down. 6th in offense during that time. Austin & Lonnie out a ton. LeBron missed 3 games. This group performed the best they could being shorthanded as they were, but it's time to get the real team.— Raj C. (@RajChipalu) January 25, 2023
While the offense has been number six in the league since Davis has been out, their defense has been lackluster. Davis anchors the defense, and getting him back in the lineup should improve that side of the ball dramatically. The offense should also only get better with one of their top scorers back on the floor, putting less defensive pressure from opposing teams on his teammates.
Darvin Ham’s rotation will also get the addition of Rui Hachimura tonight, who was acquired in a trade with the Wizards on Monday.
Anthony Davis is questionable to play tonight. It’s the first time he hasn’t been ruled out ahead of the game since he hurt his foot on Dec. 16.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2023
Lonnie Walker IV is also questionable, as is LeBron. pic.twitter.com/QvdUkK7mbQ
Lonnie Walker IV is questionable tonight, while Austin Reaves's return is right around the corner.
This puts the Lakers in a prime position to move up in the standings. LeBron James is playing at a high level at 38 years old, and he is getting his running mate back with Davis. They are the best duo in the league when they are on the floor together, and it will be exciting to see how quickly they can get on a roll.
If the Lakers can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, they are a dangerous team out West.