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Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis made 1 big improvement to his game while rehabbing injury

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

Anthony Davis may be looking like a changed man when he returns to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on Sunday that the Lakers star has made one big improvement to his game while rehabbing his knee injury: Davis has been working on his shot mechanics.

The eight-time All-Star Davis has been out since Dec. 17 after suffering an MCL sprain on an unfortunate in-game play (video here). He is nearing a return though and could be back as soon as Tuesday against Brooklyn.

An improved jumper is sorely needed for Davis. Before he got injured, Davis was shooting a horrendous 17.9 percent from deep this season. He was even getting roasted by some big NBA names for his awful shooting. With Davis’ hard work during rehab however, the Lakers will be hoping that he can finally put those criticisms to rest and truly unlock their offense.

H/T Lakers Daily

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers linked to former Anthony Davis teammate

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers may be going after a player that Anthony Davis would have plenty of intel on.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported on Monday that Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets could be a potential trade target for the Lakers. Pincus also mentions Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic as another candidate that the Lakers may pursue. But he says that any such deal with Houston or Orlando would hinge on either team’s interest in acquiring Talen Horton-Tucker.

Gordon was teammates with Davis in New Orleans for four seasons from 2012 to 2016. Gordon also briefly played with Carmelo Anthony then with Russell Westbrook in Houston.

The former Sixth Man of the Year Gordon is a prime trade target as a 33-year-old on a rebuilding team. He is in Year 2 of a four-year, $75.5 million contract, but the final year of that deal is not guaranteed.

Horton-Tucker has not been the answer for the Lakers at the 2 this season. Meanwhile, Malik Monk, while he is capable of huge scoring performances, lacks consistency, Wayne Ellington lacks versatility, and the rookie Austin Reaves lacks experience. Gordon is a 14-year veteran who has been a part of multiple deep postseason runs. That seems to be the type of player that the Lakers would generally like to acquire as the Feb. 10 trade deadline looms.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis to miss at least four weeks with knee injury

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Anthony Davis for the foreseeable future after he hurt his knee Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Lakers announced that Davis’ MRI showed a left knee MCL sprain, and he will be re-evaluated again in four weeks. That essentially means Davis won’t be back until late January at the absolute earliest.

Davis actually left Friday’s game twice due to injuries. The first was to his ankle, but he was able to return from that one. The second one was the knee injury, which did look more significant even at the time.

The Lakers simply have not had health on their side this year, but this one particularly hurts. Davis had been fairly durable, playing in 27 games and averaging 23.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Despite a lot of recent criticism, he had arguably been the Lakers’ most consistent player thus far.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Was LeBron James to blame for Anthony Davis’ latest injury?

LeBron James pushing Jaden McDaniels

LeBron James appeared to set off a chain reaction on Friday that led to another injury for star teammate Anthony Davis.

Davis injured his knee in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 110-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. James pushed off on Wolves forward Jaden McDaniels, who then fell into Davis’ left knee.

Another angle of the play showed Davis’ knee seemingly bending inwards.

Davis exited the game and did not return. He had difficulty getting to the locker room on his way out.

James was called for an offensive foul on the play, lending credence to the suggestion that he was to blame for Davis’ injury with his two-handed push on McDaniels. However, Lakers fans will argue that McDaniels embellished the contact and instead point the finger at him for Davis’ injury.

Regardless, Davis was diagnosed with a left knee contusion and will undergo further testing on Saturday, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. The Lakers play the Bulls in Chicago on Sunday.

The oft-injured big man, who is averaging 23.8 points per game this season, missed two games earlier this month with soreness in the same knee. Davis also had another injury scare earlier in the game against Minnesota.

Anthony Davis heads to locker room after suffering ankle injury

Anthony Davis grabs his ankle

Anthony Davis was taken to the locker room after suffering an ankle injury during the first quarter of his Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Davis was driving to the basket but losing control, so he tried to pass to Rajon Rondo. Davis then lost track of where he was going and stepped on Naz Reid, who had fallen on the floor.

Davis twisted his right ankle stepping on Reid.

Davis was down and received some attention. Then he was helped to the locker room.

The oft-injured forward had six points in 11 minutes before getting hurt.

Shaq has sharp criticism of Anthony Davis

Shaq sitting courtside

Shaquille O’Neal, himself the NBA’s original Superman, thinks that Anthony Davis looks less like Superman and more like Mickey Mouse right now.

In an episode this week of his “The Big Podcast With Shaq,” O’Neal offered a strong criticism of the Los Angeles Lakers star Davis.

“[Russell] Westbrook ain’t the problem [for the Lakers],” said O’Neal. “Who’s the 1-2 punch on their team? So the last week, I saw some LeBron stats. I ain’t see no AD stats. That’s the problem right there.

“Listen, I speak from an experienced place,” O’Neal added. “If you’re gonna be a 1-2 punch, be a hell of a 1-2 punch. Don’t let the 1, who’s the older of the 1-2 punch, take all the, you know, do this, do that. Listen, he’s very talented. He’s shooting 19 percent from the three. LeBron got Western Conference Player of the Week and had fun while doing it. What are you doing, Mr. AD? What are you doing? I ain’t seen your name mentioned all year. So if you’re gonna be a 1-2 punch, make sure you step up.”

The 28-year-old Davis, who is the only Lakers star in his prime right now, has indeed been one of the team’s bigger underachievers. O’Neal actually oversold Davis’ three-point shooting ability (he is shooting 18.2 percent from deep this season). Davis is also shooting a career-low 72.5 percent from the foul line and is averaging 23.8 points per game, which is below than his career average.

At 16-13, the Lakers are rounding into form a bit after having won their last three consecutive games. But they have still been a popular recent target for criticism from the former Lakers great O’Neal. The Basketball Hall of Famer is probably right too that much of the blame falls on Davis. Even O’Neal’s fellow TNT co-host thinks as much.

Photo: Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal watches a game between the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers have worrying update on Anthony Davis injury

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis sat out Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it sounds like there is some concern that he may miss more time.

Davis appeared on the injury report Friday with knee soreness, and was held out of Friday’s game. After the game, coach Frank Vogel suggested that doctors want to take a look at the knee before Davis plays again.

As standard as this may be, it’s still a worrying quote from Vogel. The fact that doctors want a closer look suggests that this may be more than routine soreness.

Davis has actually been healthy this season despite his injury-prone reputation. That hasn’t shielded him from criticism as the Lakers have struggled out of the gate. If he misses time, the team’s task gets even tougher.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley has strong message for Anthony Davis

Charles Barkley holds a microphone

Charles Barkley delivered a strong message towards Anthony Davis on Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling early this season as many people predicted they would. They entered Tuesday’s game against the Boston Celtics 12-12.

There have been recent rumors about coach Frank Vogel being on the hot seat, and Barkley thinks that’s garbage. The TNT analyst spoke on Tuesday and pointed the finger at Davis for the Lakers’ struggles. He thinks Vogel is being wrongly targeted and believes Davis needs to step up.

“[The Lakers] put all them old a– geezers together and just trying to blame other people. It ain’t right and it ain’t cool,” Barkley said. “Listen, Anthony Davis, you got to play better. I said if the Lakers were going to be any good, it was all going to be on you. It has nothing to do with Russell, it had nothing to do with LeBron and the rest of them old a— geezers they put together. But now you crossed the line, because I really like Frank Vogel. It ain’t his fault.

“In my opinion, I blame Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis, I like you as a person. But you ain’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re 27 years old. You’re supposed to be in your prime. You’re supposed to be one of the five best players in the world. And you ain’t holding up your end of the bargain.”

Whether he’s right or wrong is a matter of opinion, but that sort of take is likely to light a fire under Davis’ rear. The Lakers’ front office should pay Barkley for his commentary, especially if it results in some improved play.

Photo: November 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Turner Sports sportscaster Charles Barkley before The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis offers surprising opinion on LeBron James suspension

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

LeBron James was suspended one game for smacking Isaiah Stewart in the face during Sunday night’s Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game. His hard shot at Stewart caused his opponent to bleed and then go crazy on the Lakers. Both players were ejected for their actions.

Most people who watched the incident knew right away that James would be suspended for his harsh and unnecessary blow to Stewart’s face. One person who felt otherwise was Anthony Davis.

The Lakers big man said on Tuesday that he was surprised James got suspended. Davis didn’t view James’ actions as anything unusual.

“The report came out and said his hit to the face caused the incident, which is weird because he can’t control how a guy is going to react. Guys get hit in the face all the time,” Davis said.

If Davis thinks that James’ smack to the face of Stewart was nothing out of the ordinary, he should watch the replay. James took a vicious shot at Stewart that the league called “reckless.” Stewart also wouldn’t have reacted the way he did if the shot from James weren’t significant.

Playing without James on Tuesday, the Lakers lost 106-100 to the Knicks. They are now 9-10.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers have complaint to league about Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis in his Lakers uniform

Now just .500 on the year, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to the league office with a gripe that they have.

After the Lakers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, coach Frank Vogel said that the team has been in contact with the league about the lack of free throws for Anthony Davis. The eight-time All-Star failed to get to the line a single time against Milwaukee.

“I think Anthony Davis getting zero free throw attempts is a little bit mind boggling,” said Vogel, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “And it’s something we’ve been communicating to the league about.”

Davis entered play Wednesday averaging 6.2 free throw attempts per game, slightly below his career average of 7.0. He also seemed to be particularly upset about a perceived foul by Giannis Antetokounmpo on a dunk that he had in the third quarter.

Of course, Davis’ lack of free throw attempts might just be his own fault. He is playing much more center for the Lakers this season and is often shooting jumpers instead of driving to the hoop against bigger defenders. But Davis and the Lakers are likely just frustrated right now after Wednesday’s game and a bizarre Davis ejection in the game before that.

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Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports