Dylan Hernández: Lakers can't afford to have Anthony Davis disappear in the LeBron limelight

Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LeBron James' sudden return on Sunday was offset by the loss of the Lakers' other superstar.

Anthony Davis went missing.

The player who carried the Lakers over their 13-game stretch without James was a complete non-factor in their 118-108 defeat to the Chicago Bulls at Arena.

Davis attempted just eight shots in a loss that ended the Lakers' three-game winning streak, fewer than five other Lakers, including Malik Beasley and Troy Brown Jr.

With Davis limited to 15 points, little wonder the Lakers were down by 21 in the fourth quarter.

If the last four weeks showcased the best of Davis, Sunday displayed the worst, one of the league's most dominant forces reverting to his more comfortable role as a passenger in a James-driven vehicle.


News of James' return was sprung on Lakers players just hours before the midday contest — Davis said he learned of the possibility "when they said he was gonna warm up and see how it feels" — but that's no excuse.

The Lakers are back under .500. They can't afford to have him vanish the way he did against the Bulls, whom they play again on Wednesday in Chicago.

Davis explained he was simply taking what the Bulls were giving him.

"We knew they were gonna start doubling on the post," he said. "At times, they didn't, and I was able to score. At times, they did, and I was able to swing it to a guy for an open three, or swing-swing to a guy for an open three.


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