Anthony Davis is yet to return to his dominant self since the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2019-20 championship.
Davis averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks during the 2020 NBA Playoffs while anchoring the Lakers’ defense during that season. But over the following two campaigns, he put up 22.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per night — and missed about half of L.A.’s games due to ankle, Achilles, knee, and foot injuries.
During the offseason, Davis has given his body some time to heal. In a recent appearance on esports team Nuke Squad’s YouTube vlog, the 28-year-old said he didn’t touch the ball since April 5 — the day of his last game of the 2021-22 season:
Anthony Davis: “I haven’t shot a basketball since probably April 5th.” pic.twitter.com/5V7hzptXf8
— 𝙎𝙝𝙪𝙗𝙝 ⁶𓅓 (@OVOLakeShow) June 12, 2022
That day, Davis scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns. A few years ago, the forward explained that during a typical offseason, he doesn’t do basketball drills until four to six weeks before the start of summer camp.
Meanwhile, Austin Reaves and other young Lakers have been in the gym for a few weeks already, working to improve on their performance from 2021-22.
Darvin Ham thinks Davis is ‘key’ to Lakers’ revival
Davis has said he is “excited” about the Lakers’ hiring of Darvin Ham as their new head coach. In his introductory press conference, Ham explained he views the forward as the “key” to his plans for making L.A. competitive again.
“I think he’s the key. We’ve all seen what can happen when he’s healthy when he’s playing at a high level,” Ham said.
“His ability to give multiple efforts defensively is key. It’s gonna be the foundation of the type of standard we set… It’s going to be built on that defense, and he’s going to be the centerpiece of it… We need consistency out of Anthony Davis. We need him to be healthy.
“We need him to be in a good mental space, and we need him to be consistent as possible and back to playing that championship-type basketball.”
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