Eddie Bitar | FADEAWAY WORLD
Anthony Davis is unquestionably one of the best big men in the league. His size and skills are almost unmatched in his position, and many regard him as a top 5 player in the NBA.
There are very few players in history who possess the size and skill set that AD has. He grew up as a guard and just kept growing to the size of an NBA center. Luckily, his guard skills never left him and he is still a fantastic overall player. Davis can shoot from the perimeter, handle the ball, and pass really well.
He also possesses the skills of a traditional big including inside scoring, rebounding, and especially defense. He is a shot-blocking machine who has improved his post defense tremendously over his career. In a nutshell, he might be the ultimate power forward talent in NBA history.
As soon as the Lakers made the trade for Davis, they immediately are in top contention for the NBA title. Yet, many people fail to realize how AD can be a major problem for the Lakers’ title chances – albeit indirectly.
There is one major factor that NBA fans have overlooked, and it only takes a brief look at AD’s time in New Orleans. While many will point to the fact that he never achieved anything there, there is a bigger issue at hand that must be acknowledged.
As good as Davis is, he might be a liability and here is the main reason why.
Anthony Davis Is Injury-Prone
Anthony Davis, for whatever, has seemed to have gotten a pass for being in and out of lineups throughout his career. While not his fault, per se, Davis has simply been one of the more fragile superstar players in the league for some time now. Don’t believe me?
Here is a list of ALL the body parts Davis has injured over the course of his relatively young career.
(No superstar in the league has suffered more minor injuries. Across his short seven-year career, Davis has already suffered more than 40!)
Clearly, Davis has an issue with keeping his body free from any sort of pain or damage. It may even be the reason why he prefers to play the power forward position over the center position. He simply cannot take the beating and keep healthy every night and always seems to have a problem with something, and he has missed significant time in the past.
He consistently fails to complete an 82 game season, and this is not a good sign.
He was very young when he experienced these injuries, and this will likely not improve as he gets older. In fact, there is a chance that it might worsen. Even this season, Davis seems to have a lingering shoulder issue that is deeply troubling even if most don’t realize it yet.
According to Davis, “There’s really never a play I don’t feel it. “I try not to let it affect my game. I just play through it and then worry about taking care of it after the game.” Clearly a troubling claim, we can see Davis with heating pads on his shoulders when he is on the bench. Even if it is a minor injury now, it could potentially develop into something worse.
He is probably the most important player for the Lakers this season. With LeBron James hitting 35, AD needs to take over most of the regular season while James has his rest as much as possible. Davis simply must keep healthy.
If he suffers from injuries again this year, the Lakers are in deep trouble, to say the least. Davis cannot be banged up as the Lakers approach the playoffs, or they risk another failure of a season. At the same time, AD needs to be healthy for most of the regular season so he can lead the Lakers to a top seed in the West.
The West is simply too difficult for both Davis and James to miss games. Davis was brought in to take charge, play the majority of the season, and completely dominate the league. This is supposed to be his moment, and he must take advantage.
James has earned the right to miss games, after a long history of remaining injury-free with a lot of mileage on his body. As much as Davis has had to carry in his career so far, LeBron has had to carry more. This means that James needs to miss a few games this season to keep his body fresh and prevent burnout as he approached his late 30’s. If Davis cannot lead the charge while LeBron is out, then he will be the biggest problem for the Lakers this season.
The Lakers will go as far as AD and LeBron take them, and the latter simply cannot handle the physical load much longer. If AD keeps up his injury-prone history, LeBron will be forced to end his career with 3 rings while the Lakers will have to move forward having sacrificed their entire core of young players that were shipped off last season. Lakers fans all over the world waited patiently for Davis to be a part of their team, and they expect great things from the team this year.
Lakers fans better hope Davis remains injury-free, or it’s bad news for Lakers Nation.