Four Lakers That Must Step Up With Davis Out

Anthony Davis‘s MRI revealed a calf strain and tendonosis aggravation, but it did not show a teat in his Achilles. He will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks; Davis will probably not return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup till after the all-star break.

Davis suffered the injury late in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets. With Davis being out for a while, individual players must step up for the Lakers.

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma has splayed well all-season in all phases. He has improved his defense and rebounding. With Davis out, he must continue to improve in those areas and score the basketball more. Kuzma is averaging 11 points per game so far this season; that number must go up with Davis out. The four-year veteran is more than capable of scoring 18.7 points per game in his second year in the NBA. With Kuzma improved three-point shot, he should have no problem increasing his points per game.

Dennis Schroder

Another player that must step up is point guard Dennis Schroder; he is averaging 13.9 points on the season. Schroder numbers are down due to playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but now with Davis’s injury, Schroder must be more aggressive in the Lakers’ offense. Schroder can score 18 to 20 points per game, and he must play on that level now. The Lakers should look to give Schroder pick and roll opportunities to get him going.

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol has been bad this year for the Lakers, only averaging four points per game and not shooting well at all. The Lakers did not bring Gasol in to score; he was brought in for defense and his basketball IQ; he has played decent on defense and makes excellent reads on his passes. Now Gasol must look to get his offense going and continue to play better defense. The Lakers should look to get Gasol some touches in the post; Gasol may be slow, but he is skilled and could do a little damage in the paint.

Montrezl Harrell

Lastly, Montrezl Harrell needs to play as he did with the Los Angeles Clippers when he averaged 18.6 points per game. This year his numbers are, but with Davis out, he must help carry the load. Harrell must be active on the glass and play better defense. Trez is a great pick and roll player; the Lakers must look to get him involved in those pick and roll situations often now.

Davis will truly be missed on the defensive end of the floor. He is the anchor of the Lakers defense. With him being out, Los Angeles loses a shot-blocking presence. The Lakers will have to play even better on-ball defense to keep players out the paint. Gasol is not much shot-blocker, but he will never be out of position; he is a smart team defender.

We all know LeBron will carry his part of the load, but it will be up to the other players to keep the Lakers afloat till Davis comes back. The Lakers must not rush Davis back either remember what happened to Kevin Durant when he was with the Golden State Warriors.

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