Anthony Davis has been sidelined since February 14th, when he sustained a calf strain and re-aggravated an Achilles tendinosis in his right leg. With AD out and LeBron James also injured since March 20th (high ankle sprain), the LA Lakers are desperate to see at least one of their superstars back on the court as they hope to become back-to-back NBA champions.
Davis, who has been selected to eight All-Star games in his career, missed 28 of the LA Lakers' 51 games in the 2020-21 NBA season, and the team has a 15-13 record in that stretch.
AD's 27-game absence also includes 10 games with LeBron James out, and the team is 4-6 in those matches.
When is Anthony Davis coming back?
Anthony Davis has been out of the LA Lakers' rotation for 53 days and has missed the team's last 23 games. Initially, the timetable for his return was no less than 2-3 weeks, when he was set for reevaluation.
Even though the information coming out of the LA Lakers' camp has been encouraging for fans, there is no set date for Davis' return yet, and he is close to having two consecutive months away from basketball action.
Before the LA Lakers traveled to Tampa Bay to face the Toronto Raptors, coach Frank Vogel told the media that Anthony Davis' return was uncertain.
Still, Davis and King James have been with the team for their road trip to the East.
It is certain that Anthony Davis will not play for the LA Lakers in the team's five-game road trip in the East, which started with a 10-point win over the Toronto Raptors.
Vogel also didn't confirm whether Anthony Davis will be back for the team's return to Staples Center on April 15th, when fans will be in the arena for a matchup with the Boston Celtics.
How desperately do LA Lakers need Anthony Davis?
When Anthony Davis' injury was announced, the LA Lakers had a 21-7 record and were second in the Western Conference. Now, the team has fallen out of the West's top 3 and are just three games clear of the play-in positions.
Of course, the situation has been aggravated by LeBron James' absence in the last nine games. However, the LA Lakers were destined to miss Anthony Davis ever since he bumped into Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic on February 14th and had to leave the game.
Even though the LA Lakers' offense is not as dependent on AD in terms of scoring as it was in the previous year (he led the team in scoring in the 2019-20 campaign), he remained the team's most versatile defender.
Davis is vital for the LA Lakers on both ends of the court. With him on the court, the team had a 115.3 Offensive Rating, which would rank eighth in the entire NBA (as opposed to the team's 106.5 Offensive Rating with him off the court).
Moreover, the LA Lakers have the sixth-worst Offensive Rating in the league since February 14th. Meanwhile, they had the 10th-best offense in the league from the start of the season until Anthony Davis got injured.
Even before LeBron James suffered his high ankle sprain on March 20th, the LA Lakers' offense was struggling since Davis' injury. The team ranked 15th in the NBA in Offensive Rating from the moment Anthony Davis was sidelined until King James had his unfortunate ankle sprain.
On defense, the LA Lakers have not missed Davis, as they've been able to maintain their good Defensive Rating. The team has the second-best defense in the league since Davis got injured and holds the best record since the start of the season.