LeBron James and the LA Lakers are looking to repeat as NBA champions. They hit a significant roadblock in doing so, though, when Anthony Davis went down with an injury. LA has struggled since his injury, too, as the team has slipped in the Western Conference standings. However, as they head into the last two months of the regular season, the Lakers may have even more discouraging news regarding their superstar big man.
Anthony Davis has already missed time for the LA Lakers
On Feb. 19, the LA Lakers announced that Anthony Davis would be out four weeks after he suffered a calf strain, and aggravated Achilles tendinosis in his right leg, according to ESPN.
Obviously, anytime you’re missing a player of Davis’ caliber, you’re going to struggle. Davis was a big reason why the Lakers won the NBA championship in 2019-20, as he averaged 26.1 points per game and 9.3 rebounds during the regular season and 27.7 points per game and 9.7 rebounds in the playoffs. This season, in 23 games, Davis — who is making $32.7 million this season — is averaging 22.5 points per game and 8.4 rebounds.
LeBron James and the Lakers struggled immediately following his injury, too. Including the last game he played in on Feb. 14, as he was only on the court for a little over 14 minutes, the Lakers started 1-5 without Davis. They went from 21-6 to 22-11.
They then went 2-2 in their next four games before the All-Star break to improve to 3-7, but have since won both of their games after the All-Star break.
The Lakers certainly miss Anthony Davis, and their fans definitely want him back. A recent report, though, suggests that he could be out significantly longer.
LeBron James and the Lakers could be without Anthony Davis for 3 more weeks
Last week, the Lakers announced that Anthony Davis would be examined again in two weeks. However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports recently reported that Davis could still be out for a few more weeks, and maybe even longer than that.
“Sources informed Yahoo Sports that Davis could be sidelined for the next three weeks and possibly beyond,” Haynes wrote. “The Lakers will be overly cautious in their approach to working Davis back even at the cost of slipping in the standings, which has occurred.”
Well, that’s discouraging to read. This could certainly hurt the Lakers down the final stretch of their season, too.
LeBron James and the Lakers could continue to struggle without Anthony Davis
The Lakers have struggled on both ends of the court without Anthony Davis in the lineup. They have given up 109 points or more in six of their seven losses without Davis. LA has also failed to score over 105 points in five of their seven losses. In comparison, the Lakers are allowing 105.9 points per game on the season, which is second in the NBA, and they score 111.6 points per game, which is 20th.
The Lakers have also slipped to third in the Western Conference standings since Davis’ injury. They are also just one game ahead of the LA Clippers for fourth.
What they do have going for them, though, is LeBron James and the other talented pieces on their roster. Despite their struggles, they should have enough to keep afloat until he comes back. James is averaging 25.5 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.9 assists while shooting 50.9% from the field. He will always give you a chance to win. Dennis Shroder and Montrezl Harrell have also been two big scoring options for them, as they both score over 14 points per game. Kyle Kuzma has stepped up in Davis’ absence, too. Kuzma is recording 15.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds since Feb. 14.
However, even if the Lakers can win some games here and there without Davis, he may not be in a rhythm by time the playoffs start. If LA keeps slipping in the standings, that could be concerning. Missing three more weeks would bring him back with about 20 games left. He could be out longer than that, though, which wouldn’t give him much time to play in some game action before the postseason at all. Additionally, if they fall to fourth or fifth place, they could have to face a team like the Denver Nuggets or Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. A rusty Davis against Nikola Jokic could be a problem.
With Anthony Davis at 100%, LeBron James and the Lakers have a chance to repeat as NBA champions. However, the recent news about his recovery is certainly something to worry about if you’re a Lakers fan.