Should the Lakers Be Worried About Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis has been far from stellar this season.


JC Gellidon / Unsplash

If Anthony Davis does not regain his form, the Lakers are in serious trouble.

The 2020 NBA playoffs were a revelation for Anthony Davis. For many, his brilliant performances secured his superstar status in the NBA. Some even ranked him as one of the three best players in the world. From his first-ever game as a Los Angeles Laker to Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals, Davis had been nothing short of outstanding. He had certainly lived up to the hype and proved his worth in the blockbuster trade that saw Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram get sent to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the power forward. 

Many believed the Lakers had given up too much for Davis, as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram were seen as future all-star caliber players who were sure to bring the Lakers playoff success in the near future, something they had not seen in almost 7 years. Lonzo Ball’s infamous father, Lavar Ball, boldly stated that without Lonzo Ball, the Purple and Gold would “never” smell a championship ever again. 

With so many critics, Anthony Davis had something to prove. By the end of the regular season and playoffs, he surely did so. Davis finished the 19-20 regular season averaging 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists on 50% shooting from the field. Not only was he a world-class talent offensively, he was also fantastic defensively. His phenomenal two-way play would not only see him earn first-team all NBA honors, but he would also finish top 3 in defensive player of the year voting and make an all NBA defensive team. 

Davis would only improve his performances in the playoffs, increasing his overall numbers to 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists on 57% shooting from the field. He would even cement his place in playoff history by hitting a playoff buzzer-beater to steal a game against the Denver Nuggets in the conference finals. 

Due to his brilliant playoff performances, many had high expectations for Davis coming into this season. Fans predicted he would retain his great form, and so most had already put their money on the Lakers repeating as NBA champions. 

However, Davis has been far from brilliant this season, and has become a point of concern for Los Angeles. To start, a look at the raw numbers highlights a massive dip in performance. 

This season, Davis, for his standards, only managed to average a paltry 22 points, 3 assists, and 8 rebounds on 49% overall shooting. What is even more glaringly obvious is Davis’ terrible 3-point shooting, as he is statistically one of the worst 3-point shooters in the league, shooting a horrid 26% from behind the arc. His free throw shooting has also gotten considerably worse, as he shot 74% from the line this season compared to his 85% from last season. 

Even players around the league have taken note of Anthony Davis’ poor form this season. In a podcast, Draymond Green stated, “I won’t throw anybody under the bus, but I’m talking about one superstar particularly who I’ve never seen him out of shape. He’s so out of shape right now.” It’s obvious that Green was referring to Davis, and so Davis’ lackluster season has been glaringly obvious to not only the fans, but also to other players.

Perhaps what is the Lakers’ biggest concern is Anthony Davis’ newfound medical condition. Earlier this season, MRI scans revealed Anthony Davis had developed Achilles tendinosis. This is a condition in which the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed due to a continuous degrading of the tendon. Not only is this painful, but this can seriously affect performance.  The worst part about having such a condition is that there is no real way to treat this, and the degradation is evident no matter what is done. 

The Lakers had bet $190 million on Anthony Davis as the successor to Lebron in Los Angeles. Such a condition means that not only are the Lakers’ playoff hopes in peril, but their future as an organization is in peril as well. While the medical team has come out and said as of right now that Davis’ tendinosis is only minor, time will tell whether or not Anthony Davis can defeat all odds and rise to stardom once again. 

This season, Davis, for his standards, only managed to average a paltry 22 points, 3 assists, and 8 rebounds on 49% overall shooting.