The Los Angeles Lakers ended their season with an April 11 victory over the Denver Nuggets, but their fate had already been decided by that point.
Following one of the more disappointing seasons in recent history, the Lakers failed to qualify for the play-in tournament and were consigned to watching the post-season from home. Part of the team’s struggles this year came from their inability to stay healthy, especially their stars.
Anthony Davis often considered the building block to the post-LeBron James era, managed to participate in just 40 regular-season games, four more than the previous season. While LeBron appeared in 56 contests for the Purple and Gold.
However, when it comes to the off-season grind, nobody is ever worried about LeBron’s work ethic, but it appears there should be some concerns about Davis’ commitment to improving and resolving some of his injury issues. In a recent appearance on “The Nuke Squad’s” YouTube channel, Davis provided us with a shocking revelation: that he hasn’t shot a basketball since April 5.
“I haven’t shot a basketball since April, like maybe, April 5th,” Davis said during the Vlog.
Analyst Fears Davis is Past His Best
Since joining the Lakers in 2019, Davis has only completed more than 40 games on one occasion – the season he joined the team. In the two years following, the superstar big man has only appeared in a total of 76 regular-season games and five playoff games, which is a far cry from what fans expected when the Lakers traded for him.
It’s that lack of availability that has begun to set alarm bells ringing, as the six-foot-ten star has continually failed to see the floor when it matters most, and as such, hasn’t found his best form in over two years.
“Davis has appeared in just 76 games over the past two seasons, as he’s dealt with a variety of injuries. His play was better last season than in the season before, but Davis may be on the downswing of his career. He’ll be 30 towards the end of next season and his days of appearing in more than 60-65 games are probably over,” NBA analyst Keith Smith wrote in a recent article for Spotrac.
Davis can Still Dominate
Despite his last two seasons being less than ideal, Anthony Davis is still one of the best players in the NBA when healthy, or at least, that’s what most Lakers fans hope. The truth is, Davis, needs to prove he’s still capable of dominating an NBA floor, and that he can do so consistently without missing over half of the season to injury. After all, the best ability is availability.
With a new head coach in place, and the front office looking to inject some youth into the rotation, Davis has an opportunity to reclaim his place among the league’s elite while challenging for a championship – isn’t that the reason he pushed for a trade to the Lakers in the first place?
When healthy last season, the Chicago native averaged 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, but his limited availability meant those contributions failed to have the desired impact. Still, Davis has two years remaining on his current contract, three if you include his player option, so he still has a chance to prove his injury struggles are a thing of the past, and he is the foundational building block the Lakers believed he was when they acquired him. Now, it’s up to him to prove them right.