Alex Caruso is sick of hearing the slander directed at his Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, so after Davis dropped 42 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists in a victory against the Phoenix Suns, Caruso took the opportunity to send a message.
“I can’t speak for him personally, but I know I’ve heard a lot of chit chat, some tweets, some words around the world about ‘AD is so soft and he’s falling all over the place,’ and guys got to understand they’ve just got to give him a couple games to get his feet under him,” Caruso said in an interview with Spectrum SportsNet. “The beast is waking up, as everybody can tell.
“Last game he looked more like himself, this game he’s doing reverse dunks to finish the game. We’re starting to see vintage AD and he’s rounding in to form.”
Anthony Davis ‘Sets the Tone’ for Lakers
The Laker faithful were growing anxious following Davis’ return from a nine-week absence, with the team going 1-5 over his first six games back. That included a loss to Washington that Davis went out of his way to label a “must-win” in an effort to stay out of the play-in tournament.
But Davis has gradually returned to his All-NBA form, his latest two outings that combined for 78 points evidence of that.
“I think it’s the legs,” Davis told reporters. “I’m getting my legs back, so my legs aren’t as heavy during the game, and as the game go on. So all the shots I’m taking, free throws, I’m not using all legs, and now I’m pushing the ball further than I need to. The jump shots, my legs feel good. So I think it’s just getting a rhythm back, and legs is most important and they’re starting to come back around.”
Lakers skipper Frank Vogel commended Davis for the way he leads and sets the tone for everyone wearing purple and gold.
“He sets a tone for us with his assertiveness,” Vogel said. “When he comes to play the last two games like he did the last two games looking to dominate, then everybody else gets a little bit more air in their chest and gets more confidence in what we’re going to be able to do that night. And it just takes time when you miss as much time as he did, for him to be able to have that sort of pop to his game. So I think it’s been great with his leadership of late.”
LeBron James to Miss Matchup Against Knicks
There was optimism that the Lakers would have LeBron James back in the lineup on Tuesday night against the Knicks, but “The King” is deciding to give himself one more day of rest.
Vogel said the Lakers will continue to look at James as “day-to-day” with the ankle injury. But he expressed some optimism after seeing his superstar practice on Monday.
“We did some drill work. We did some contrived scrimmages, and we did a short, full scrimmage,” Vogel told reporters. “And he did all of it.”
The Lakers are a 5.5-point favorite against the Knicks and are looking for their first back-to-back wins since March.