Darvin Ham says Anthony Davis ‘looked phenomenal’ in full-contact scrimmage with return on horizon

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis continues to inch forward towards a return to game action from a stress injury in his right foot he suffered just over a month ago.

He participated in a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday, and head coach Darvin Ham liked how he looked.

Davis was playing perhaps the best basketball of his life for a few weeks prior to his injury. He had multiple 35-point, 15-rebound games and was even creeping into the MVP conversation.

Without him, the Lakers, who were starting to show signs of life in late November and early December, have struggled, as they lost four of five games until Friday’s miraculous come-from-behind win over the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies.

In Davis’ absence, center Thomas Bryant has filled in well by providing rebounding, easy baskets, energy and intensity, but he has faded over the last few games.

Over the last few days, there have been reports that Davis could return as early as one week from now. It cannot come too soon, as L.A. will begin a very challenging road trip on Jan. 28.

That trip will start with a contest against its bitter ancient rivals, the Boston Celtics, and it will continue with tilts versus the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Before that trip starts, the Lakers will play the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that has been struggling but always seems to beat LeBron James and company head-to-head.

With Davis out, opponents have been exploiting L.A.’s lack of rebounding and shot-blocking. Once he returns, he will give the team a huge boost in both categories, as he is averaging 12.1 boards and 2.1 rejections per game so far this season.

He will also take a lot of pressure off James, who has been playing heavy minutes lately. James hasn’t shot well in his last two games, and he may be starting to show signs of fatigue from having to carry the Lakers so much and so often.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.