Anthony Davis Could Return to the Los Angeles Lakers This Week
Posted on: January 22, 2023, 08:21h.
Last updated on: January 22, 2023, 09:51h.
Center Anthony Davis missed the last 18 games with the Los Angeles Lakers because of a right foot injury. But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that Davis could return to action as early as this week.
Davis has been spotted at the Lakers’ practice facility and had several pain-free workouts. On the cautious side, the Lakers hope their leading scorer and best defender can rejoin the team sometime before the All-Star Break, which begins on February 16.
The Lakers went 9-9 without Davis in the lineup during his recent foot injury, and they’re now 21-25 overall this season.
If the season ended today, the Lakers would miss the Play-In Tournament as the 13th place team in the Western Conference. They’re currently 12 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets (33-13) and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
The Lakers are +4000 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, and +2000 odds to win the Western Conference.
The Sacramento Kings are the big surprise team in the NBA this season, and are now drawing interest from futures bettors. The Kings currently hold down first place in the Pacific Division. The last-place Lakers trail the Kings by 5.5 games, and they’re the long shot on DraftKings’ futures board at +2000 odds to win the Pacific.
Davis: Playing the Best Ball of His Career
Davis last suited up for the Lakers in mid-December before a stress injury in his right foot sidelined him for the last month.
Losing Davis was a huge blow for the Lakers, who were struggling at the time with a 12-16 record. Davis was playing some of the best basketball of his career, and easily his best statistical season since joining the Lakers.
Before his foot injury, Davis averaged 27.4 points, a career-high 12.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He was having his best shooting season of his 11-season career by knocking down 59.4% of all shots from the floor.
Davis recently revealed that he has bone spurs in his right foot, which is a lingering injury that dates back to his collegiate career with the Kentucky Wildcats. He played a one-and-done season with Kentucky before New Orleans (the Hornets at the time) selected him with the #1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
There’s no doubt that Davis is one of the best centers in the NBA when he’s healthy. However, he cannot shake the injury bug since he joined the Lakers. He missed 36 games in his second season in Los Angeles, and missed 42 games last season. So far this season, he missed 21 games.
When the Lakers won the 2019-20 championship in his first season with the team, Davis missed only 10 games.
Lakers on the Playoff Bubble
The Lakers are not interested in “tanking” in the second half of the season because they do not own the rights to their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. They traded that pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in the blockbuster trade that sent Davis to the Lakers prior to the 2019-20 season.
The Lakers are only 1.5 games behind the tenth-place Phoenix Suns, so they’re within striking distance of the Play-In Tournament.
Seven teams in the Western Conference are clustered together on the playoff bubble. Teams that finish between seventh place and tenth place qualify for the Play-In Tournament, which determines the #7 seed and the #8 seed.
Only two games separate the sixth-place Minnesota Timberwolves and the 13th place Lakers. The Lakers are lumped together in this mid-season cluster with the Timberwolves (24-24), Los Angeles Clippers (24-24), Golden State Warriors (23-23), Utah Jazz (24-25), Phoenix Suns (23-24), Oklahoma City Thunder (22-24), and Portland Trail Blazers (21-24).
According to FiveThirtyEight’s NBA projections, the Lakers will finish this season with a 38-44 record. FiveThirtyEight estimates that the Lakers have a 23% chance to make the playoffs.
The Lakers bubbled the 2022 Western Conference Play-In Tournament last season and finished in eleventh place with a 33-49 record.
On Deck: Back-to-Back in LA, 5-Game Road Trip
The Lakers are still buzzing after a comeback victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. They snapped an 11-game winning streak by the Grizzlies, who are the second-best team in the Western Conference.
The Laker have a quick one-game road trip up the coast to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night. They return to Los Angeles and host back-to-back home games this week versus the Clippers and San Antonio Spurs.
Next weekend, the Lakers embark on a road trip to the East Coast with five games in eight nights. They’ll hit the road to play the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, and the New Orleans Pelicans before returning home. The Lakers would love to have Davis back next weekend to play against the Celtics, who are the best team in the NBA with a 35-12 record.
The Lakers are 9-14 as an away team this season. Betting wise, the Lakers are 21-24-1 against the point spread (ATS) this season. As a road team, the Lakers are 9-13-1 ATS this season.
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