The Los Angeles Lakers are usually one of the most talked about franchises, and rightfully so; it continues to this day. After building a veteran-heavy roster last season, they were under the radar, but injury trouble and defensive struggles led to a disappointing season. However, many believe a healthy Anthony Davis can help the Lakers bounce back.
"The Lakers are going to be in the playoffs this year. And one of the main reasons I'm saying that is because of Anthony Davis," former NBA player Kendrick Perkins said on NBA Today.
Perkins sets a benchmark for Davis
Davis has been a dominant force in the league for a while now and was a big factor in the Lakers' 2020 title. It was one of his best seasons for the purple and gold, as he averaged 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. However, things have gone sideways since then – in terms of his health.
AD has put in a lot of work over the summer to ensure he doesn't have to spend another season on the sidelines. He's more determined than ever, and based on all the criticism he's received recently, will play with a chip on his shoulder.
While the Lakers are happy to see him healthy again, Kendrick Perkins took it a step further – picking Davis as his early-MVP candidate for 2022-23.
"Anthony Davis this season is going to remind the world of who the hell he is. And this is why I have him picked as my MVP front-runner. I believe Anthony Davis is going to show why his name should be mentioned in the conversation with Giannis Antetokounmpo again," Perkins added.
The Brow played through a wrist injury last season
Davis played only 40 games for the Lakers last season, having been diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain. As a result, the Lakers failed to secure a playoff berth. While most people criticized him for being injury prone and not being up to the mark whenever healthy, Davis recently reported that he played through an injury.
"A lot of people don't know this, but since January I was battling a wrist injury the whole year," Davis said. "So, it was affecting my shot and everything. That's not an excuse but it was tough for me to shoot how I wanted to shoot. I couldn't really follow through," Davis explained.
It will be interesting to see if Davis can be as impactful as in his championship season this time.