Anthony Davis looked like himself for the first time a while when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Denver Nuggets on Monday. He was getting past defenders with relative ease, knocking down tough shots and using his tantalizing combination of length and speed to play suffocating defense.
Before then, Davis looked a step slow, which led some to believe that he wasn’t fully-recovered from the calf strain and Achilles tendinosis that kept him sidelined for over two months. Those concerns were heightened when LeBron James was added back to the injury report because he didn’t feel ready. Fortunately, it appears those concerns were largely overblown.
After the Lakers’ 93-89 win over the Nuggets on Monday, Davis said that he hasn’t ran into any problems with Achilles tendon, mentally or physically.
“I’m not worried about that at all,” Davis said. “I don’t think about it. Once I’m on the floor, I’m worried about getting wins. Not one time have I thought about it since I started playing. I think I’ve done enough in the past nine weeks to strengthen it to where I don’t have to think about it, and test it to where I don’t have to think about it. So now, it’s just going out there and focusing on the game of basketball and helping the team win.”
That’s good news, because the Lakers are going to need the best and healthiest version of Davis to end their regular season on a high note.
James has been ruled out of the Lakers’ next two games against the LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers and Dennis Schröder isn’t expected to be cleared from the NBA’s health and safety protocols until later this month. If reps are all Davis needs to get back to where he wants to be, he’ll get plenty of them with James and Schröder out.
There’s obviously still going to be questions about the Lakers’ potential if James still doesn’t look like himself after a few extra days of rest, but you’d rather have one of them at 100% than neither of them and, at the moment, Davis seems like he’s well on his way.