Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has made a big claim about star big man Anthony Davis in the lead-up to the 2023-24 season, suggesting that he may have been the best player in the league when playing last year.
Davis, as he so often does, had an injury-interrupted season, missing a large portion of December and January as well as a handful of other games here and there. In all he managed 56 games throughout the course of the regular season, while he managed to suit up for all 16 of the Lakers playoff games. His numbers were impressive as always – he averaged 25.9 points on 56.3% shooting as well as 12.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.0 blocks – though those figures are virtually in line with what he has put up for much of his career. According to Buss, however, they were enough to put him right up there with the best of the best.
“Last season started really tough,” Buss said. “And then the team…something just clicked, and Anthony Davis, when he was healthy, there's an argument to be made that he was the best player in the NBA.”
For a certain period, there's no denying just how dominant a force Davis was in the league. Just prior to the injury which saw him miss over a month of the season, Davis had a 12-game stretch (excluding one game in which he played just 8 minutes) during which he scored at least 30 points on nine occasions, twice eclipsed 40 and once passed the 50-mark. During that time, he averaged 34.2 points to go with 14.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks. Not bad numbers.
Anthony Davis certainly wasn't the best player in the NBA throughout the course of last season, and even for the entirety of the time he was out there he probably wasn't. For the aforementioned period, however, there was no one in the league he could match him.