Thanks to his down year, it’s easy to forget that Anthony Davis looked like a top-five basketball player in the world last season. The Los Angeles Lakers big man looked like he hit the next level and was about to start competing for MVPs. That didn’t really happen this year as Davis has been injured and wasn’t his same dominant self when he was on the court.
Luckily, not everybody has forgotten how transcendent he is when he’s at his best. Kevin Durant recently made some headlines when he revealed his all-time starting lineup. Notably, he included Davis on his list, which many questioned. Durant doubled down and even referred to the big man as a “cheat for any team ever created.”
Even when Fox Sports’ Nick Wright suggested that Tim Duncan was a better player than Davis, Durant didn’t back down.
It’s clear that Durant has a lot of admiration for how Davis plays basketball. He certainly has the talent to be one of the greatest players ever but still needs a few more dominant years before the masses accept that fact.
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Davis Nearing Return
The Lakers have been without Davis for months now and it’s certainly hurt their success on the court. They were battling for the top seed in the NBA before he got hurt. Now they’ve fallen to the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The good news is that the All-Star should be back soon.
According to head coach Frank Vogel, Davis is healthy right now but the team is just trying to make sure he’s back in shape he hits the court again.
“The biggest thing is conditioning right now,” Vogel said, via ESPN. “He’s healthy. But having not played and not really being able to ramp up his physical on-court activity over the last two months, it’s going to take some time before he gets his wind under him and obviously, that’s the biggest thing. Because if his legs aren’t under him, we don’t want him to be at risk for re-aggravation of the injury or another injury. We want to keep a close eye on that.”
It’s smart to play it safe with Davis. He has a history of injury and there have been a lot of players getting hurt this year due to the shortened offseason. The Lakers still have a decent playoff seed so there’s no rush.
Will Davis Return to Form?
There was talk about Davis taking a leap this year and becoming an MVP candidate. In hindsight, that was obviously wrong. He came off of his longest playoff run and shortest offseason. That was always going to be a recipe for disaster for a player who has an extensive injury history.
Things will be very interesting once he comes back as he is now rested. Perhaps taking a couple of months off was just what he needed to get back into the groove of things. He’ll definitely be rusty for his first few games back but he should return to form by the time the playoffs come around.