Lakers stars Anthony Davis speaks out on LeBron James after 42-point outburst vs. Suns
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is not worried about his teammate, LeBron James. Fresh off leading the Lakers to victory with a dominant 42-point effort against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night at Staples Center, Davis expressed confidence in James, who has missed the past four games after reaggravating his high right ankle sprain.
“Bron wasn’t himself the games that he played, and he’s getting back to his old self,” Davis said. “What I seen from LeBron today, he’ll be fine. Trust me. He’ll be fine. He’s been in this league long enough to be able to come back and lock in and do what he gotta do to help the team.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel co-signed Anthony Davis’ faith in James.
“He looks good in his workouts,” Vogel said on Sunday night. “Obviously, there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period with him, in terms of him getting his rhythm and timing back. Hopefully, we have enough time for that to pick up very quickly. I’ve tended to learn to have confidence in LeBron James in situations like that.”
LeBron James returned from a 20-game stint on the sideline — the longest absence of his 18-year career — for two rusty showings. He scored 16 points in a loss to the Sacramento Kings on Apr. 30, then was forced to leave the following game vs. the Toronto Raptors (another loss) in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t want to say I came back too early, but at the end of the day, I had to test it out and see where I was at,” LeBron said after the Raptors game.
Evidently, he has figured out a more optimal way to gauge his ankle.
Vogel said Friday the Lakers would discuss a James return for the Suns game, but a mid-week return was likelier. The Lakers play a home back-to-back against the New York Knicks on Tuesday and Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Whenever he returns, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is confident in the four-time MVP.
“I feel like he’ll be playoff-ready,” KCP said Sunday. “The rest, the recovery … just seeing his workouts. He’s really put in that work, getting himself back together to 100 percent. He’s shown in his workouts. He’s going hard in drills, dunking the ball. Just seeing that, we’re very excited.”
The Lakers (38-30) — who trail the Portland Trail Blazers by one game (plus tiebreaker) for the No. 6 seed — and certainly James are hoping to escape the play-in tournament. However, even Frank Vogel acknowledged that scenario “looks unlikely.”
Either way, the Lakers understandably feel like they can beat anybody — regardless of seed or venue — as long as their two stars are on the court. If Anthony Davis continues to dominate on both ends like he did vs. the Suns, they might not even need the 36-year-old at 100 percent.