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NBA: Davis’ Return Could be the Game-Changer for the Lakers

There’s a renewed optimism in Los Angeles due to reports that Anthony Davis could be back in action soon, and the NBA star’s return couldn’t come soon enough for the Lakers.

The Lakers are still in the bottom half of the Western Conference standings with a 21-25 record, but they’re still in the play-in mix, as per the NBA 2023 odds. With a healthy Davis, who knows how far the Lakers can go this season?

Elsewhere, the Warriors are still facing question marks despite beating the shorthanded Cavaliers, while Kyrie Irving reminded everyone why he’s still one of the best players today.

Without further ado, continue to read on below as SBOTOP shares the biggest takeaways from the past few days.

Good news for Anthony Davis and the Lakers

Prior to his foot injury in mid-December, Davis had been on a career renaissance, averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game, showing everyone why he’s a Top 5 player when healthy.

“When healthy” is always a phrase attached to Davis since he has been injury-prone these past few seasons. After winning it all in the bubble in 2019-20, the Brow hasn’t been the same.

Hopefully, after he makes his full recovery, he will stay healthy throughout this season. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis is making pain-free progress on his right foot, and LA are hoping he’s back before the All-Star break.

The Lakers had a rough week with their lacklustre NBA 2023 results before their 122-121 win against the Grizzlies today. LA had to rally back against Memphis, and this time they were the better team down the stretch.

The Lakers were trailing by one in the dying seconds, but Dennis Schroder completed an and-one with 7.6 seconds after stealing the ball away from Desmond Bane. Grizzlies’ Brandon Clarke was fouled with 1.9 seconds remaining, but he only went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe.

Snapping the Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak is a huge momentum swing for the Lakers ahead of their grueling schedule next week. Maybe, by then, AD will already be practicing with his team.

The Warriors are unraveling

The Warriors currently have a 23-23 record, which is far from the championship team that they were last season.  

Golden State lost to Boston during their Finals rematch on Thursday. The Celtics were sloppy down the stretch, but the Warriors couldn’t capitalise as the game went to overtime courtesy of Jaylen Brown’s late three.

Boston eventually escaped with a 121-118 win, and Golden State fell to 5-18 on the road at the time.

After playing heavy minutes in Boston, Steve Kerr opted to rest Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green against the Cavaliers, who were without Donovan Mitchell.

Golden States Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will not be playing in the next NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of the NBA match

The Warriors got a 120-114 win over the Cavaliers on Friday, as Jordan Poole led the way with 32 points in one of their best performances of the season.

It’s hard to pinpoint what’s causing the Warriors’ inconsistencies lately. For some reason, they just couldn’t string good games together.

Steph Curry’s shoulder injury last December certainly hasn’t helped since his absence halted their continuity. The hope is that now that he’s fully recovered, he’ll be the one to turn things around for Golden State once again.

But in the grand scheme of things, the Warriors would need to address their depth ahead of the trade deadline, as their bench this season has been worse than before.

Kyrie Irving still spectacular, but will it be enough?

The Nets finally won for the first time since Kevin Durant was sidelined due to a knee injury, as Kyrie Irving led them to a 117-106 victory against the Jazz on Friday. Prior to this game, they were on a four-game losing streak.

Irving recorded 48 points, including 21 on 70-per cent from the field in the final period. In fact, he almost outscored Utah by himself during the final salvo.

The 2016 NBA champion not only scored a lot, since he also recorded 11 rebounds, six assists, and four steals in 39 minutes. What made his outing more impressive is that he was on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Nets are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 28-17 record, and if they are to hold on to a top-four spot, then Irving has to carry his team each and every game.

But he would certainly appreciate it if he’ll get consistent production from the likes of Nic Claxton, Royce O’Neale, Seth Curry, TJ Warren, and Ben Simmons.




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