Anthony Davis has had a real roller coaster journey in the current season. Last December, he sustained a stress injury that led him to miss twenty games on the trot. AD returned to the court after the Los Angeles Lakers had a reshuffling of the roster. The front office made some crucial trades to bring balance to the team. But the team was unable to perform well due to injuries to certain players. When LeBron James sustained a tendon injury in his right foot, the King had to go through rehab for a month.
The Lakers were in deep trouble and in desperate need of leadership. That’s when Anthony Davis stepped up to save the Lakers from the brink of elimination. He helped the Lakers win back-to-back matches. The LA side finally had a streak that helped them climb up on the table. Clearly, the Lakers know how important AD is for the team. He is proving his worth every game. Hence, D’Angelo Russell has defended Davis against all the naysayers and the hate coming from them.
D’Lo Russell Defends Anthony Davis
At present, the Lakers are leading the Western Conference playoff semis against the defending champions Warriors by 1-0. Game 1 between the Warriors and the Lakers was an exciting clash, as expected. However, the Lakers came out victorious at the Chase Center. It is a sign that they are performing better on the road now than they were during the regular season. Evidently, it was Anthony Davis, yet again, who was the star in Game 1. As a result, his teammate D’Angelo Russell came out to defend Davis after the game. In the postgame interview, D’Lo acknowledged that “Despite the hate he gets from the media, AD’s impact on the game is huge. He is still doing an incredible job no matter what people say about him.“
AD is the first Laker with 30/20 in a playoff game since Shaq in the 2004 Finals and the 5th in franchise history to do it, also joining Wilt, Kareem and Elgin on that list. https://t.co/Q7d9FgUNAN— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 3, 2023
D’Lo added that Anthony Davis played for the whole game and never asked for a substitution. When he is on the court, he likes to dominate. The young point guard even defended Davis against the critics. The Brow scored 30 points and got 23 rebounds. He helped his side win back-to-back Game 1 of the playoff series in round 1 against the Grizzlies and now against the Warriors in round 2. After Game 1 against the Warriors, AD also made his place in the history of the franchise. Shaquille O’Neal was the last Laker in 2004 to score and rebound 30/20 in the finals. Now, Anthony Davis joins the elite list of the Top 5 people to do that. The list consists of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Gay Baylor, and Shaquille O’Neal.
AD Is Showing Improvements In His Fitness
Despite AD’s heroics, people, mainly from the media, criticize him for being too weak. It is true that he has not been able to play more than 75 games any season in his career. He seldom plays the whole 48 minutes. Moreover, Anthony Davis does not play more than 42 minutes.
There are a lot of people who opine that AD is too weak to help the side win, as he occasionally gives everybody an injury scare. However, he is the backbone of the Lakers in the current season. He anchors the defense and spearheads the offense. Davis carried the team from the bottom to the playoffs.