The Lakers did the unthinkable. They beat one of the best teams in the NBA in the Utah Jazz in what could be a potential playoff match-up. Also, Russell Westbrook took it back a couple of years and put Rudy Gobert to bed early on a Monday night. What a relief it was to finally see the Lakers play some basketball and once again to give us hope (before bringing us back down to Earth this morning with the Frank Vogel reports). Well, there is more hope on the way. Anthony Davis has been cleared for on-court work with contact, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
Frank Vogel said “everything looked clean” with Anthony Davis’ left knee when it was evaluated by team doctors at the arena tonight. Davis is cleared to ramp up his activity, including on-court work with contact. Vogel did not provide a timetable for AD to return, however
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 18, 2022
This is the best news the Lakers have gotten in a long time. It is no secret the Lakers could use the All-Star big man, the fact is they need him. The Lakers have been abysmal on defense lately and while Davis will not fix all of their problems, he will surely help. Davis will give the wings the ability to press knowing he’s lurking in the background ready to help. Offensively, the Lakers get another major piece to run the offense through. Sure, he has struggled shooting the rock, but you have to trust that will improve.
Now, that his rehab has progressed, the question is when we can actually expect them back. Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the LA Times report that Davis could be back soon.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, there’s optimism Davis could return during the team’s upcoming six-game road trip.
After the Lakers host the Indiana Pacers, they go on the road for six straight games. Better known as the GRAMMY road trip, the Lakers will have some tough games in the East coast. LeBron James and company will be facing the Heat, Nets, and Sixers, all eastern conference contenders. Even if AD comes at the end of the road trip, it’s just nice to know he will officially be back soon. As we saw with Kendrick Nunn, sometimes there are setbacks, which is why this is great news.
It’s unlikely the Lakers will make any major moves at the trade deadline. Whether you like it or not, this is the roster we have to work with. The return of Anthony Davis will finally give the Lakers a full roster to build chemistry. The Lakers have not had the continuity to work on optimizing the best lineups and it all starts with health. Granted, they have not looked good, but if the Lakers are healthy, they still have LeBron and AD. You take those odds every time.