The Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled through the first quarter of the 2021-22 campaign due to struggles with consistency. Despite LeBron James finding his stride, the Lakers are dealing with an all-too-familiar concern regarding Anthony Davis‘ health. As Davis works through another nagging issue, it underlines a significant problem that may lie ahead.
Anthony Davis can’t shake the injury-prone label
Following working through an injury-maligned second campaign with the Lakers, Davis is working through another concerning health issue.
Davis ventured through the offseason with a revamped workout approach after changing his trainer. However, the dialogue of his injury-prone label remains due to constantly dealing with minor tweaks and bruises that keep Lakers fans holding their breath each time he tumbles to the floor.
Those concerns have again become a prominent discussion as Davis is sidelined with another knee injury.
Anthony Davis’ health could force the Lakers down a troubling path yet again
As the Lakers work to find consistency, a lingering health issue has cropped again concerning Davis.
The eight-time All-Star missed his second straight game on Sunday against the Orlando Magic due to what the team is classifying as left knee soreness. Head coach Frank Vogel provided an update, stating that Davis is considered day-to-day while his knee is structurally intact.
“Anthony is going to be out again tonight,” Vogel said via Lakers Nation. “He’ll be considered day-to-day. They did an ultrasound on it. Everything is structurally intact. Just taking another day with the two days off before the next game. Hopefully, put this behind us.”
Although Vogel’s comments present an encouraging outlook, it underlines Davis’ ongoing health issues that have plagued him throughout his career. He’s coming off a campaign where he missed three months due to a calf injury related to his Achilles tendon.
He’s remained relatively healthy this season, playing in 25 out of the first 28 games. Meanwhile, he’s performing at a high level, averaging a double-double with 24.0 points and 10.2 rebounds along with 2.2 blocks per contest.
Despite those changes, Davis’ struggles to stay on the floor continue to lurk. His talent is undeniable as a gifted offensive player while being one of the best defensive factors in the league. However, his ability to move past the nagging injuries has plagued him, especially over the last year with the Lakers.
If he can’t stay healthy, the Lakers can effectively wave goodbye to competing for the 2022 NBA title.
Los Angeles needs Anthony Davis to anchor the charge
LeBron James is certainly showcasing that he’s staving off Father Time, but the Lakers need much more than that.
Davis’ performance and availability sit quite prominently important as he’s anchored the franchise’s success since his arrival. James will lead the effort, but Davis must remain the tone-setter on both ends of the floor, especially defensively.
The Lakers are a completely different team when the star big man is aggressive offensively while honed in as a rim protector. It simply hasn’t always been the case, especially in the 2021-22 campaign.
The massive overhaul of the roster has played a factor in the players building on-court chemistry. Still, it’s resulted in Los Angeles falling toward the bottom of the league defensively, ranking 26th allowing 111.5 points per contest.
The Lakers are far from looking like a legit NBA title contender. Ultimately, if Davis isn’t healthy or playing up to his capability, it’s hard to envision another championship coming back to Los Angeles next June.