Lakers championship hopes rest on the shoulders of Davis
February 25, 2021
The health of the Lakers star forward, Anthony Davis is imperative if the Lakers want to win another NBA title this season. Without Davis last season the Lakers would not have won the championship. His efforts and play making abilities takes some of the pressure off the Lakers best player, LeBron James. As great as James is, he needs Davis and the play of his other teammates to make sure the Lakers make another run at the NBA prize.
The focus for not only Davis but also the Lakers staff is to ensure that he is at least 85% healthy and playing with no pain. Without Davis they could make a nice playoff run, however the traditionally the Lakers do not celebrate clinching Pacific Division titles or even Western Conference titles, they celebrate raising championship banners. Without a healthy Davis that will not happen this year.
Davis is the key to James' success just like Pau Gasol and Shaquille O'Neal were to Kobe Bryant's or Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan's championship runs. The focus should be getting Davis healthy and ready for the playoffs instead of worrying about how soon he can return for the regular season.
The Lakers have a tough four game schedule before the All-Star break with home games against Portland on Friday (7 p.m.), Golden State on Sunday ( 5 p.m.) and Phoenix on Tuesday at 7 p.m. They also play Sacramento on the road on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m.
The consistency of Kyle Kuzma in his new role as the second offensive option behind James along with the play of Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews, Marc Gasol, Markieff Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope the Lakers should be able to hold steady despite their recent losing streak.
"Well, it's more opportunities for everyone else," said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel last week. "That's got to be our mindset with this group. Our whole team has to step up."
Kuzma has been fantastic so far this season with his active rebounding, good three-point shooting and creating opportunities for his teammates to be successful on the floor. With the players mentioned this as a great opportunity for the Lakers bench players to see more time in the rotation during Davis' absence.
If Davis is healthy for the playoffs the Lakers have an excellent chance at repeating although several teams in the NBA might have something to say about that.