Is he regaining his MVP form for the stretch run?
Los Angeles Lakers star center Anthony Davis has performed a bit erratically since returning from the right foot stress injury that cost him five-and-a-half weeks of action, an All-Star berth, and possibly even some MVP ballots.
Across the 12 games he’s played since returning, Davis is averaging typically stellar stats: 22.3 points on 50% shooting, 13 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks a game. But he hadn’t been moving with quite the freedom or ferocity that he had previously enjoyed prior to the injury, when he really was looking like an All-NBA superstar again.
On Sunday, while leading LA to a surprise comeback against the Dallas Mavericks, AD finally looked like that player once again.
Davis scored 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the floor, pulled down 15 rebounds, and blocked three shots.
He spoke with reporters after the contest about his big night.
“My confidence is always high,” Davis said of his play. “Tonight our shooters — us as a team — weren’t shooting the ball great. So I just wanted to be a little bit more aggressive. We were running some plays where I was able to catch the ball and make decisions so just coming out, being aggressive, and doing what I have to do to help the team win. And then just making reads from there, whether it’s going to a pick-and-roll, or shooting the ball or making a play for teammates so I just want to come out and just be aggressive each and every night.”
Can Davis keep this up during the Lakers’ final 21 games of the 2022-23 regular season?
With the fates of both forward LeBron James and starting point guard D’Angelo Russell a bit murky in the short-term, LA will most likely be counting on Davis more than usual to take on the scoring burden for the club.