The Los Angeles Lakers will be a team to watch in the final month of the season, thanks to returning stars and a push towards the playoffs.
It’s been a strange season for LA, with major stars injured and uncertainty clouding their title defense.
Here are the five things to watch on the Lakers as the regular season comes to a close.
5. How quickly can AD get back up to speed?
Losing Anthony Davis for an extended period this season was less than ideal for the Lakers. Adding an injury to LeBron James was salt on the wound.
Fortunately, it looks like Davis is full speed ahead to return for the final month of the campaign. The star center was cleared for full-court activity over the weekend. While Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz was slightly too soon for him, the timeline to get him back on the court is now down to days instead of weeks.
The timing is great, as Davis will have some time to get back in the groove before the playoffs start. The question is how quickly he’ll be able to get back up to speed and whether he can reach the heights he hit before the injury. He was averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while hitting 53.3 percent of his attempts from the field.
While the Lakers want to ease him back into action, he won’t have a completely pressure-free period to find his feet. Los Angeles is fifth in the West with the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies looking to make life difficult for them in the standings.