After missing over a month, Lakers big man Anthony Davis made his highly anticipated return on Tuesday, scoring 8 points on 50% shooting in a 106-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
While Davis was not at his best in the win, his return did breathe some life into the Lakers, who have been struggling to stay afloat all season long. His presence alone made the Purple and Gold look like a whole new team.
Hours after the final buzzer, FOX Sports' Chris Broussard went on to explain how AD could actually return his team to title contention status.
“The West is open. It's more open than we thought a month ago. Phoenix is great but they're not frightening anybody. Golden State, Draymond is having injury issues. Utah is Utah. Memphis is young. So can they get back to being a legit contender? I believe so, and here's what AD has to do because it's all on him. I need AD to take care of things inside..."
Naturally, the Lakers have been looking for answers all season long. Amid embarrassing losses and lackluster performances, the community was certain that changes had to be made to turn things around.
It turns out, the solution may have been right under their noses the whole time.
“He’s one of the best two-way players in the game and I see him impacting both sides of the ball,” coach Frank Vogel said before the game. “We missed his defensive versatility, length at the basket, ability to the guard on the perimeter and obviously everything he does offensively.”
As a versatile big man, Davis brings a lot to the table. He protects the rim, grabs easy rebounds, and dominates the offensive end with jump shooting and post play.
Already, we have seen the impact it has on the Lakers' overall performance. Whether or not it will be enough to launch a long postseason run, however, remains to be seen.