Anthony Davis Must Turn Back the Clock and Showcase Aggression of Past Seasons for Lakers to Make the Championship Leap

Since arriving to the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis has served as the franchise centerpiece that dictates the franchise’s NBA title chances. After the Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship, Davis has struggled to stay on the court while he hasn’t performed at the same level. All that points to the star big man needing to move toward a notable change.

Anthony Davis experiencing injury struggle again

Davis entered the 2021-22 season, hoping to finally put his health issues behind him.

The 28-year-old changed his offseason workout routine, but that hasn’t prevented the injury bug from creeping back into the picture again. Davis is sidelined for at least the next month due to an MCL sprain in his left knee, leaving the Lakers in another challenging spot.

As he works his way back to the court, it may be time for a significant self-assessment.

Anthony Davis must turn back the clock and showcase aggression of past seasons for Lakers to make the championship leap

A common refrain from Lakers fans concerns criticism toward Davis’ lack of consistent offensive assertiveness

He possesses a unique skill behind his ball-handling ability, outside shooting touch, and skill in the low post. However, his indecisiveness at times to utilize that complete package often bewilders fans and basketball enthusiasts alike.

Since his first season with the Lakers, Davis hasn’t performed like the same player that earned the unwavering recognition as one of the league’s best two-way talents. Instead, it appears injuries have taken a toll on him more than he may be letting on publicly.

His play speaks for itself as he’s become increasingly reliant on his outside shooting. He led the league at one point in scoring in the paint this season, but the overall lack of consistency drives fans wild.

It certainly doesn’t help his case that his outside touch hasn’t been there, hitting at a career-worst 17.9% from 3-point range. According to StatMuse, his 16.7% through the first 20-plus games was the worst in league history for players averaging at least two attempts per game. Meanwhile, Basketball-Reference indicates he’s hitting only 35.4% of jump shots, including 32.4% on shots from 10 to 16 feet from the basket.

Davis is the total package on both ends of the floor, but there is appears to be the lack of the same fear that opponents previously had playing against him.

This year, Davis has showcased that form in spurts, especially in the comeback win against the Detroit Pistons in late November. The 28-year-old can be an imposing physical factor that can change the landscape of a game.

The Lakers want to see the dominant talent that became one of the league’s best players and not the one that only demonstrates that dominance in flashes.

Lakers need Anthony Davis in elite form

As remarkable as LeBron James’ play has been in his 19th campaign, the Lakers need much more than that to compete for an NBA title.

Davis sits as the most critical piece to the puzzle as he’s the anchor on both ends of the floor. When healthy, he provides elite rim protection as well as a high-end scorer. Obviously, there are more pieces to the puzzles that need to come together (on-court chemistry, lineup rotations, balanced scoring, improved defense), but the big man’s play sits at the top of the list.

The hope is that the extended time away allows Davis to feel physically comfortable to play with the desired aggressive mindset. Time will tell, but if the Lakers want to add an 18th championship, their star big man needs to be a massive part of the equation.

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