The Los Angeles Lakers have lost nine of the 16 games since Anthony Davis injured his knee in mid-December.
Head coach Frank Vogel recently said L.A. “wasn’t that close” to having Davis back on the court. The All-Star forward has been participating in contact drills and shooting practice over the last week as part of his rehab though, and for the first time in a while was upgraded to questionable for Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat.
Davis remains the key figure in the Lakers’ hopes of becoming competitive again. But LeBron James said his teammate’s health takes precedence over all other factors in planning the forward’s comeback.
“We’ll say health first then rhythm,” James said. “Whenever AD is ready, we’re going to love that. That’s for sure. One of our biggest guns that we have and having him on the floor creates so much for us offensively and defensively. We’re able to do so much more, but his health is what’s most important.
“Once we know that he’s healthy and he knows that he’s healthy, we’ll get him back on the floor and start getting his wind and his rhythm.”
Vogel previously said he would like Davis to take part in a couple of practice sessions before the All-Star plays in a game again. It appears he has made some big strides in his individual workouts though so it remains to be seen if Vogel’s stance on that has changed.
James explains effort to keep Carmelo Anthony ‘hot’ in win over Magic
As the Lakers await Davis’ return, Carmelo Anthony filled in for the All-Star forward on the offensive end in Friday’s victory over the Orlando Magic.
Anthony ended the night with 23 points, scoring 19 of them in the second half — helping L.A. to come from behind and seal the win. The 37-year-old shot 4-for-4 from beyond the arc after halftime, in big part thanks to James’ vision and basketball IQ.
“Any time you get a hot hand like that, he’s one of our snipers, he’s one of our quick bucket getters where they can get hot and it will come in a flurry,” James explained.
“It’s my job and a lot of our other guys. Most important, when I’m on the floor, it’s my job to find him as much as I can and then I just tried to do that in that second half.”
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