Anthony Davis typically stays out of the limelight during the offseason but he caused a bit of a media whirlwind when he admitted that he hadn’t shot a basketball since the season ended in April. Had the Los Angeles Lakers star put together a better season, nobody would care about what he’s doing in the offseason. However, he missed 42 games last season and his injuries are a major reason why the team hasn’t had playoff success over the last two seasons.
He’s also been one of the worst shooters in the NBA, only hitting 18.6% of his three last season and 26% in the season prior. Davis has never been a great 3-point shooter but he’s typically at least above 30%. He’s got some shooting issues he needs to figure out and one way to do that is to practice. That said, the next NBA season is still months away and there’s plenty of time for him to get work in.
New head coach Darvin Ham heard about the controversy surrounding Davis’ comments. He made it clear that it was a non-issue.
“Well, I feel the exact opposite being that I played eight years in the league and had deep playoff runs with teams,” Ham said on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “There’s that time at the end of the year that you have to take care of your body. All the pounding, the jumping, the running, especially when you’ve dealt with an array of injuries like Anthony has. You have to take time for your body, focus on your body, and that’s what he’s doing.
“Picking up a basketball, that usually happens in the middle of summer. You may do some spot shooting or whatever but in terms of the pounding and the hard workouts and the grueling workouts on the court, that’s usually pushed back to the middle of the summer, that’s just the general NBA players’ principles. … I think he has his priorities in order and I don’t put too much weight on the firestorm that went on with that comment being made but I know he’s in a good place mentally, I know he’s in a good place physically.”
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Should Lakers Be Concerned About Davis?
Based on Ham’s comments, he doesn’t appear concerned about Davis’ lack of shooting over the last two months. Many players avoid basketball for a portion of time after the season. Also, just because Davis hasn’t been shooting, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been working. In the past, he has said that he likes to take a month off and then weight train before he starts playing basketball again.
It’s his routine and he’s had success with it in the past. That said, Davis hasn’t had a two-year slump this bad in his career. The Lakers don’t need to be concerned yet but they should be working with the star big man to ensure that he’s maximizing his time in the offseason.
Bounce-Back Year for AD?
Davis wasn’t terrible this past season. He averaged 23.2 points a game, 2.3 blocks and 9.9 rebounds. Those are solid numbers but everybody knows that he’s capable of doing even better. If Los Angeles hopes to turn things around this season, they need Davis to have a bounce-back year.
Russell Westbrook is a shell of his former self while LeBron James will be 38 in December. Davis is the team’s most important player. If he plays at the same level he did during the championship run in 2020, the Lakers will be one of the best teams in the NBA. If he keeps getting hurt and playing like an above-average player, the team will be in trouble again.