With Anthony Davis expected to be sidelined for at least the next month, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to need their supporting cast to fill Davis’ void on both ends of the floor, which is easier said than done, even with how much Davis struggled to start the season.
And while Tuesday was only the first game of a nine-game test, they looked completely capable of doing just that. Behind a near triple-double from LeBron James, the Lakers were able to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-104 on Tuesday. They are now 22-7 on the season.
Kyle Kuzma got the starting nod in Davis’ absence, as he has on several occasions both this and last season, but it wasn’t Kuzma that had the “second star” stat line on Tuesday — that honor belonged to Dennis Schröder. In 32:13 against the Timberwolves, Schröder scored 22 points on 8-14 shooting from the field. He also had 4 steals and 3 assists.
In a perfect world, the Lakers would have a one-for-one Davis replacement waiting on the bench, but that’s almost never the case for players of Davis’ caliber. That’s why it’s so valuable to have players like Schröder and Montrezl Harrell, the latter of whom contributed 17 points off of the bench.
The Timberwolves made a run late in the fourth quarter, but due to their age and the fact that they were missing a few key players of their own, they weren’t able to complete the comeback. Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, set a new career-high in scoring with 28 points.
The Lakers will head back home to Los Angeles, where they’ll play the Brooklyn Nets for the first time this season on Thursday. Buckle up.