‘He Needs AD’: NBA Analyst Believes LeBron James and Lakers Cannot Win Championship Without Anthony Davis

Published 02/16/2021, 5:24 AM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first loss in seven games yesterday as the Denver Nuggets beat them 122-105. But the loss was not the biggest talking point of the game.

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The Lakers’ superstar forward Anthony Davis, who was having a fantastic game, initially aggravated his Achilles tendonosis early in the second quarter.

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Once Davis was off the floor, there was no stopping Nikola Jokic, who had a 23 point triple double. The biggest question, however, is how the Lakers will fare without the 7-time All-Star.

Stephen A. reacts to Davis’ Achilles injury

NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith reacted to Davis’ injury and shared his thoughts on the same in the latest episode of the First Take. He said, “My first reaction after hearing about Anthony Davis aggravating his right Achilles is that the Brooklyn Nets are going to win the NBA championship.

“The Lakers, as far as I’m concerned, are the only team standing in the way of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden winning the chip. And I obviously I’ve dismissed the Eastern Conference.”

He then analysed the Brooklyn Nets’ monstrous attack. “I’m looking at James Harden right now, the brother’s averaging 23, 11 and 8 on 48%. Shooting 38% from three point range. I don’t need to get into Kevin Durant’s number, it’s at 29 point per game. I’m worried about his hamstring strain or whatever, keep an eye on that. But as long as he’s healthy, I’m looking at it along those lines.”

Smith explained why the Lakers are the only team capable to stop the Nets. “It’s going to take an elite team on both ends of the floor to knock them off. We’ve got elite defensive teams in the NBA, we’ve got elite offensive teams in the NBA. What we don’t have outside of the Lakers in our mind, due to LeBron James, what we don’t have is a team that has both other than the Lakers. That’s how we view them.”

He added, “LeBron will be just fine. He’ll be there when it counts, but he needs AD. And without AD, the Lakers have no chance of winning the championship. If the Lakers have no chance, then who the hell is going to beat Brooklyn? That answer is- absolutely positively no one. 

“The first thought that came to my mind is, the Brooklyn Nets are going to win the NBA championship if Anthony Davis can’t go.”

How will Davis’ injury affect the Los Angeles Lakers?

NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the 6’11 Davis is set to miss at least 2-3 weeks of action. This is a worrying sign for the Lakers, who might struggle without Davis in the picture.

The Lakers have performed relatively well in the five games Davis hasn’t played, losing just a single game. Much of it because of the amazing performances from their 36-year-old talisman, LeBron James.

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With Davis out, the pressure might pile up on Bron. The Lakers are also entering a tough stretch of games including games against the Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and the Warriors. Can they secure a win in any of these games without AD?

Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) celebrate in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The form of forward Kyle Kuzma can be a welcome sign for the Lakers. In the last three games, Kuz averaged 18 points, 9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in the last three games. If he can continue this form as a starter, he will be a big help for LBJ and the Lakers.

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The Lakers have enough firepower to win games, but with teams like Nets and Jazz in the schedule, will they slip further down in the Western Conference?

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Aditya Mohapatra

710 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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