The Los Angeles Lakers have been falling in the Western Conference standings after injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but Saturday was a huge day for the team, both in terms of what they got done on the basketball court and with news on the status of their absent superstars.
As an 11.5-point underdog, Los Angeles pulled off a shocking 126-101 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers got a tremendous all-around effort, with six players scoring 14-to-20 points, and seven players in double figures. Recently acquired big man Andre Drummond showed his value, leading Los Angeles in points (20) and rebounds (11).
It was an extremely impressive win for the Lakers, and improves their record to 33-20 (fifth in the Western Conference).
Additionally, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Davis “could to return to play in the next 10 to 14 days” and James “could be right behind him.”
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis will be re-evaluated by team doctors in L.A. this week and could return to play in the next 10 to 14 days and LeBron James could be right behind him, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
So, barring any setbacks, the Lakers should get their two best players back for the final 2-3 weeks of the regular season. While the seeding is important (and particularly not falling into Play-In territory), the main thing the Lakers are concerned about is having Davis and James at 100% for the playoffs. It looks like that will happen, and after the rest of the Lakers’ roster has gotten valuable playing time — and improvement if Saturday is any indication — with Davis and James out.
Lakers defensive rating this season
Before LeBron & AD injury: 106.8
After LeBron & AD injury: 105.2
They still have the league’s best defense even without their 2 best defensive players. pic.twitter.com/q04Xhl37RJ
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 11, 2021
It’s possible that Saturday’s game was an NBA Finals preview, but there’s likely to be much, much more talent on the floor — James Harden also sat this game out for the Nets — if these teams meet again. After how the Lakers looked on Saturday, it has to be a terrifying thought for the Nets and the rest of the NBA how good the defending champions could look at full health.