Heading into this previous season, opinions of Anthony Davis were at an all-time high. He was an important part of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ championship run and was even ranked as the second-best player in the NBA by ESPN. Unfortunately, he was not able to live up to the hype and had his worst season since he was a rookie.
Davis only averaged 21.8 points a game and spent most of the year injured, including the playoffs. Despite being less than a year removed from winning a title, there are those who have suggested that the Lakers should trade him for another superstar. That’s not going to happen this offseason and some expect Davis to bounce back in a big way next season. Former player Kedrick Perkins offered some insight on what the big man has been doing since his season ended and made a bold prediction.
“I’m predicting right now that he is going to be the one to win MVP next season,” Perkins said on ESPN’s The Jump. “He sees all the slander. He’s hearing everything about Giannis. He’s very quiet at the moment. And from what I’m hearing, he’s working his tail off behind the scenes. Lakers got to do something but I would not panic if I’m a Lakers fan.”
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Davis Needs to Take Over as Face of the Lakers
When healthy and engaged, Davis is one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA. He’s one of the league’s five best defensive players and is elite on offense. He’s a rare big man who can handle the ball and make shots outside of the paint.
There were points during the Lakers’ most recent title run that Davis looked like the best player on the team over LeBron James. Obviously, LeBron proved to still be the best in the world in the end but the gap between him and Davis wasn’t big. This upcoming season is the perfect time for the big man to cement himself as the face of the Lakers. LeBron is 36 and has had serious injuries in two of the last three seasons. He can’t carry too big of a load during the regular season. Davis has to prove to Los Angeles that he can be the face franchise for a long time.
Davis Should Return to Form This Season
It’s fair for some fans to be concerned about Davis’ long-term effectiveness for the Lakers. He’s dealt with a lot of injuries over his career and the issues only seem to get worse. The biggest concern is that he wasn’t playing as well when he was healthy. The Lakers were very cautious not to play him when he wasn’t 100% but still only averaged 21.8 points through 36 games.
He was just wasn’t that great last season but he also had a short offseason coming off the championship run. There were a lot of things working against the Lakers last season and it’s no surprise they struggled to stay healthy after getting a brief break between seasons. Davis will now have plenty of time to get healthy and as Perkins said, he’s aware of the criticism being thrown his way. Davis should come back and have a great season.