The news every Lakers fan has been waiting for the past six weeks is finally here! Anthony Davis is reported ready to return to action for the Los Angeles team, and it all seems as if it will be tonight against the San Antonio Spurs in their own Crypto.com Arena.
Now, unless Davis suffers any setbacks before the game or even during the warmup, it’s officially confirmed he’ll be on court for his team tonight. He was also given a 20-24 game play restriction by the team’s medical officials, as his return was initially speculated after 8-10 weeks of recovery, but he became fit before time.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of when he will return, but for how long.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) January 25, 2023
Now, lets remember how he got injured last year. It was mid-December and the Lakers were playing against Denver, as Anthony Davis had been playing like the league’s MVP for the past weeks. Unfortunately, he landed awkwardly on a layup attempt in the first quarter and that was it for him, he had broken a bone spur in his right foot.
Watch the following video as he last played for the Lakers in their 126-108 win against the Nuggets on Dec. 16:
Let’s remind ourselves just how impactful the big man’s performances have been this campaign, right before he injured his foot. Lakers foward-center had scored an average of 27.4 points, won 12.1 rebounds, and handed 2.6 assists per game, after playing a total of 25 games so far with a 33.4 minute average.
He was sorely missed during 20 matches, all through the New Years and up until tonight against San Antonio. Los Angeles ended up with a tight 10-10 record in his absence, which incredibly is a much better record than with him on court this season (12-16).
Many questions emerged when he was sidelined
Many questions arose as he was injured, when unexpectedly the Lakers starting playing as a whole without their main stars.
For example, the Los Angeles side won their first game of the year in the absence of Anthony and LeBron James and actually beat the Miami Heat in an incredible team display that many considered the best performance of the season. The internet went into a frenzy and this revived their hopes of qualifying to the playoffs.
One of the main doubts was if Thomas Bryant would return to the bench once Davis returned from injury. The 25-year-old player impressed all as he had to fill his teammates shoes until he was fit to come back. Bryant’s stats aren’t as high as the 6-foot-10 foward, but still make a strong case as he proved to be an important team player. Thomas has now played 34 games this campaign, averaging a score of 13 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Rui Hachimura, on the other hand, is expected to make his Lakers debut tonight. As LeBron James has been taking the spotlight, scoring 40+ points in recent games, he needs to start distributing his offensive responsabilities with his teammates so he can gain some rest and therefore, more team quality to his game. And that’s when the young Japanese steps in!
As for the team’s General Manager, Rob Pelinka suggests the Los Angeles side are not done in the trade market after the Hachimura deal. Early this week he mentioned that every trade he evaluates involving the 2027 and 2029 1st round picks has to make them feel like it will propel them towards a championship and “there is no in-between.”