It’s been a long time coming. But, barring any setbacks, the Lakers should get one of their star players back into their lineup. After suffering an injury on February 16th, Anthony Davis is set to make his return against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.
Help is finally on the way. LeBron James is also targeting a Friday return but will test out his ankle before making a decision. The main thing is: the Brow is back.
However, can Davis immediately help a Los Angeles squad clinging to a play-in spot?
It May Be Too Late. But, There’s a Chance
Getting back a player who plays at an elite level when healthy is great. But, let’s look at the facts. Since his debut season in Los Angeles, Anthony Davis’s scoring numbers have dropped significantly.
One thing that stands out is his three-point percentage. After shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc in 2019, that number has dropped to 18.2 percent this season.
There’s no question that his defensive presence will help the Lakers. In 37 games, Davis averages 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals a game. With Los Angeles having the ninth-worst defensive rating in the NBA, having him on the floor should improve that rating.
But, Davis needs to improve on the offensive end. If he can show flashes of his 2019-2020 self and hit some mid-range and three-point shots, the Lakers have a shot to compete in the NBA playoffs.
That’s a big “what-if”. We still don’t know if Davis will be on a minute restriction upon his return on Friday. With so little time left in the regular season, the Lakers need all hands on deck.
At the moment, Los Angeles is currently battling with the Spurs and Pelicans for the 10th seed in the West. However, looking at the strength of schedule, the Lakers have the third-toughest remaining opponents.
In contrast, New Orleans has the 11th easiest schedule while San Antonio has the 11th toughest.
The Purple & Gold cannot afford to lose any more games. Can Anthony Davis save their season?
As long as he shows flashes of his dominant self, they’ll be in good hands.
Regardless, the Brow is back.