Anthony Davis returned to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup against the Dallas Mavericks, and he was predictably rusty in the 115-110 loss.
That’s unsurprising, considering he’s missed more than two months off thanks to leg injuries.
He played 17 minutes in the first half and shot 2 of 10, including an uncharacteristic two straight misses from the free throw line at the end of the second quarter. He finished with four points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and a turnover. His plus/minus was -11.
It wasn’t a particularly comforting sight for Lakers fans, considering they’ve been waiting for AD’s return for so long, but it’s a smart play for the Lakers to keep their superstar on a minutes restriction.
They currently have 13 games left to play and that’s more than enough time for a player of Davis’ caliber to get himself back into the level that all of us have grown accustomed to.
The Lakers are still currently safely in fifth place in the Western Conference, sitting with an 35-24 record. At this point, having a healthy squad in the postseason is the biggest priority.
You would find it hard to convince me that a healthy return to the playoffs for Anthony Davis and LeBron James, plus continued strong rebounding from Andre Drummond, wouldn’t make them one of the favorites to make the NBA Finals.
Other contenders are facing injury woes of their own, from a season-ending ACL tear to Jamal Murray, to the ankle sprain for Donovan Mitchell. Kristaps Porzingis also rolled his ankle in today’s game.
It’s going to be a waiting game for the Lakers, but with someone of Davis’ elite skill level, it’s the right play.