Anthony Davis Is A Beast And The Lakers Are About To Level Up


Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes off for 40 points and 20 rebounds against the … [+]

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At one point during the Lakers’ 120-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony Davis went back to the locker room to get some treatment on his sore right shoulder.

The shoulder would be just fine.

Davis was bigger and better than the competition and benefitted from a last resort defense that put him on the line 27 times. He would sink 26 from the charity stripe.

He needed just 31 minutes in regulation to drop 40 points and 20 rebounds on Memphis, proving that there is another route to load management.

Just four games into the regular season and some things are becoming obvious: The Lakers are deeper than people give them credit for. Sure, they may not be as flush as, say, the Clippers. But they have more than enough to outlast teams like the Grizzlies.

Their defense has been a wonderful sight to behold, especially in the paint where the size advantage is evident. It’s also where this team is deepest thanks to the play of redemption extraordinaire Dwight Howard.

The offense does stagnate at times, especially when the Lakers are content to shoot midrange jumpers rather than work the ball inside.

And, lastly, Anthony Davis falls far too many times onto the floor, risking his body and my frail heart.

But in all, things are going as planned. The Lakers look like they will feast on an easy early schedule and build a much-needed cushion. And, because it’s important to savor when things are good, revel in the fact that they are about to improve significantly.

The Lakers will soon get back Kyle Kuzma, a player who averaged 18.7 points last season. This is according to Shams Charania who explained the 24-year-old is close to return, via Silver Screen and Roll.

“I’m told Kyle Kuzma is essentially 100% healthy right now,” Charania says. “He’s got to work his way back into game shape, that’s the only hiccup right now. Just working himself back into game shape and his routine. I’m told he’s targeting either Dallas on Friday, or San Antonio on Sunday for his season debut.”

Normally I would say it would take some time to incorporate Kuzma back into the fold, but this team looks to be clicking in most facets of the game.

However, whether a sluggish start to the game or a confounding stretch of cold basketball, the Lakers have needed a boost of offense through their 3-1 start.

They have been saved at times by the likes of Troy Daniels, who was four-for-eight from three in the Lakers win over Utah, and Danny Green who is averaging 12.5 points on 47.4% shooting.

Getting Kuzma will help alleviate the burden on so many of these players, especially Davis who is nursing a sore shoulder and James who continues to fight Father Time off with a stick.

There is no question that the Lakers could use a facilitator like Rajon Rondo who is nursing a sore calf. However, injuries haven’t yet taken a toll on this team. Rather, the Lakers continue to power up from one player or another.

Alex Caruso is plus-9.7 on the season, second only to Howard whose plus-minus is 14.3 with averages of 20 minutes, seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.

Now if you’ll allow me to shoehorn a cliché into the mix: the season is ridiculously long. There will be injuries. There will be confounding rotations.

But, for the moment, the Lakers have clicked and are a cohesive unit about to get back a pivotal player.

The Lakers are enjoying life at the moment.