LOS ANGELES, California – When Anthony Davis stepped in for him earlier in the season while LeBron James was injured, James lauded Davis’ work. James revealed to reporters during the end of November that AD had been the league’s best player for the previous four to five contests. Speaking that moment, he was rather around though.. In the five contests mentioned, Davis averaged 33.2 points and 17.4 rebounds.
More significantly, he helped his club improve from 2-9 before James’ injury to 5-11 after James’ comeback. When James rejoined the gang, he continued to move quickly. Davis averaged 34.2 points per game during the Lakers’ seven-game winning streak from November 11 to December 4. Due to illness, he labored, missed the most of two games, played four more, and then, like James, vanished. His injury was even worse. He has not been active since December 18 as a result of a stress fracture in his foot. At the time, the Lakers were 11–16. It seemed as though their season was lost without their star player.
Seemingly all is a loss. But there’s still hope because without Davis, James might have reclaimed the league’s best player honor. The Lakers are barely surviving without Davis. They are currently 5-5 after his injury, and their total record is 16-21. James, who is 38 years old and has only played in 37 games altogether, has averaged 34.6 points over his previous ten games, giving the Lakers two players with 10-game scoring averages of 34 points or higher. While doing so, he assisted the Lakers in getting through perhaps their most difficult stretch of the season. Nine of their next 12 games are at home, compared to 13 of their previous 17 games, which were on the road.
In response to his outburst of 47 points on his birthday on December 30, James said, “Let me aspire to score 40.” He has since accomplished this in back-to-back games, including a stellar 43-point performance against the Hornets. James’ first two games as a Laker in which he scored 40 points in back-to-back games were the first two he played after turning 38, for reasons Father Time cannot grasp.
The portrayal of James, Davis, and the Lakers’ campaign is realistic. According to the story around Davis, injuries have compromised his formerly extraordinary athleticism. After his release, James answered his critics. James’ apparent kryptonite was meant to be age. He has so far excelled his 37-year-old self as a 38-year-old.
James persuaded Davis to travel to Los Angeles. They could play together after he joined the Laker team. This season, their greatest work has been unsatisfactory. It has been forced to do so since no other teammate has stepped up to consistently support either superstar. No other Laker, aside from James, has even averaged 15 points per game in the nine games Davis has missed since suffering a foot injury. Only Atlanta has made less 3-pointers as a team this season.
One might say that it “may” be the sincerest example of superstardom in basketball. For James and Davis to work, there is no space. They don’t receive much support from their teammates or from one another. However, both have kept a season from disintegrating with little assistance outside of their own brilliance.
James most likely isn’t the best basketball player in the world right now. He’s now doing something strange. Nearly all of Davis’ offensive numbers were declining before his injury. He failed to score in the half-court and continued to play subpar defense from earlier in the season. Davis is most certainly not the best player in the NBA either. His longevity is still in question, and he no longer possesses the jump-shot that might have propelled him into the conversation following the 2020 election.
However, they both have shown that they are capable of doing so occasionally for 10 games. Because of it, the Lakers are still in the play-in round. The Utah Jazz, who are falling to tenth place, are only two games behind them. That’s hardly a goal worth working toward, but remember that James and Davis are far more efficient when they work together.