Players That Need To Step Up With Davis Out
Replacing the production of Anthony Davis won’t be easy. Davis was having a career year, leading the Lakers as they have been on the rise.
Los Angeles will need some players to step up with the star big man out. One player can not replace what AD has produced this season. It will need to be done by committee, with multiple players taking on an increased role.
When the lights were bright, Thomas Bryant came up CLUTCH 😈💯— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 17, 2022
4th Quarter Comparison:
▫️TB: 8 PTS (4-4 FG), 2 STL, +11
▫️Jokic: 5 PTS (2-4 FG), 1 TOV, -9 pic.twitter.com/ja23Xf9z76
Center Thomas Bryant is a clear candidate as he will assume Davis’ starting role. On Friday, Bryant stepped up in the 2nd half against the Nuggets after Davis’ injury. He was able to outplay back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, which was crucial for LA’s victory.
In 24 minutes, Bryant finished with 21 points and six rebounds, shooting 9-11.
He followed it up with a great performance against the Wizards, finishing with a double-double with 16 and 10. Bryant had the game-winning dunk and played well throughout.
BRYANT FOR THE WIN 🙌 pic.twitter.com/0B6VPsjW6t— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 19, 2022
Bryant has brought great energy and intensity to the team. He is a physical big that has the physicality to dominate down low. He also has a good three-point shot that spaces the floor for Los Angeles.
“It may seem corny, but I really don’t give a damn.”— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 17, 2022
Darvin Ham awarding Thomas Bryant the game ball after last night’s win is everything 💯pic.twitter.com/srV7Ro7ylY
His impact as the starting center for the Lakers will be pivotal over the next month. If Bryant can play as he has against Denver and Washington, it will help the LakeShow stay competitive.
Austin Reaves getting MVP chants after going on a 10-0 run by himself 🤣💯pic.twitter.com/rTetLXA7RY— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 17, 2022
Another player that they will need more production from is Austin Reaves. Reaves is having a phenomenal season, averaging 11/3/2 with great shooting splits at 51/38/91. The 2nd-year guard has been playing at a high level, much improved from his rookie season. He plays well on both ends of the floor and is one of the best players on the Lakers. With Davis out, LA will need Reaves to carry more of the scoring load.
Wenyen Gabriel could rise to the occasion as the secondary big. Gabriel is averaging 5/4/1 while shooting 59.7% and 30.8% from three.
He has been a hustle player for LA but has been sidelined with an injury. Gabriel will be a true asset in Darvin Ham’s rotation when he returns. He has been an effective role player all season long, and with Davis out, they will need him to have an increased role.
“Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., Wenyen Gabriel and Max Christie are young players on team-friendly contracts…It’s unlikely that any of them are traded, with the Lakers especially valuing Reaves and Walker IV.” (via @jovanbuha)— The Trade Deadline (@_TradeDeadline) December 16, 2022
Source: https://t.co/aO3a01A1jB pic.twitter.com/Y6OMESCzYn
Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr, and Max Christie could also get more opportunities and be more impactful rotational players.
Look for the Lakers to rally by committee around LeBron and Westbrook with their superstar Davis out.