Anthony Davis is returning to championship form as Lakers rout Spurs

Nov 20, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) gets the rebound against San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) during the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) gets the rebound against San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) during the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves continuing their quest from climbing out of the bottom of the NBA cellar building on a two-game winning streak led by Anthony Davis and his newfound revival.

The next opponent in the San Antonio Spurs will be a familiar foe for the next week or so. See, the Lakers are playing the Spurs three times in a four-game stretch. If things go like this matchup, the Lake Show can make up some ground to possibly have a play-in conversation after the Holiday season.

Lakers Nation, when was the last time the staff of Lake Show Life could say…” Man the Lakers beat the brakes off of an NBA team” in one of these post-game reports?

(Checking the calendar: November 20th, 2022)

Man, the Lakers beat the brakes of the San Antonio Spurs, 123-92, in a game that wasn’t even that close. The Spurs were without Gregg Popovich, who fell ill before the game and numerous players were held out of the lineup with injuries. Okay let’s be honest, the only Spurs player in the last couple of seasons that could even give the Lakers problems was Dejounte Murray and he’s an Atlanta Hawk now. Get the picture?

The Spurs franchise player is Keldon Johnson and he shot 4-20 for the game and finished with 12 points. Guh!

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

Anthony Davis is getting back to his championship form! 

Now does this mean that the Los Angeles Lakers are back to championship form? PFFT! Step back from the eggnog folks, it’s not Christmas yet. But Anthony Davis has destroyed two teams during this Lakers’ winning streak on both ends of the floor not seen since the Lakers won the NBA title in the bubble.

First, he tallies 37 points against the Brooklyn Nets, then he drops 38 points on the heads of the Detroit Pistons. In the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs, he had the Spurs calling 911 like Wyclef Jean with Mary J. Blige in the background!

That was the first quarter folks! That’s HALF of the full total of each of the last two dominant performances AD put up last week. The Lake Show Life asked for dominance from this guy every single game and we are now starting to get dominance every game from AD. The Spurs could not stop him and he didn’t let them off the hook with jumpers.

AD dismantled the Spurs with 30 points, 18 rebounds and 3 steals in 28 minutes. It could have been 60 points folks. Davis has surpassed the 30-point, 15-rebound plateau in three straight games.

Man this Austin Reaves dude… 

When LeBron James comes back to the lineup, the barometer of how much he buys into this newfound Laker’s success will be Austin Reaves. Since LeBron has been out this guy has been handing out business cards to opponents. He came into this one averaging 16.7 games over the previous contests and matched that total in the first half alone!

Reaves had 17 points in the first half alone while making sure the ball was moving in the offensive scheme that Darvin Ham is implementing. He doesn’t waste time dribbling it around looking for his offense, he plays basketball the right way!

Reaves finished with 21 points on only 11 shots and 3 assists.

Thomas Bryant is playing better than most thought he would!   

Raise your hand if you thought Thomas Bryant would be playing lights out like this when he was signed? How about two games after returning from thumb surgery? To the ones raising your hands, stop being a casual. Nobody saw this coming because even Rob Pelinka was praying when he signed him off the center salary minimum scrap heap.

He didn’t miss a shot from the field on his way to 10 first-half points. As dominant as AD was in the first quarter, Bryant continued beating on the Spurs front line drawing fouls and even dunking on them with authority.

Bryant finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win: 

Anthony Davis had to go to the locker room with an injury! 

This is really nitpicking but AD went to the locker room with an eye injury that kept him out most of the second quarter. Otherwise, he was on a Wilt Chamberlain-like night. Hey, we had to fill this column up somehow!

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

No one can gauge the Los Angeles Lakers progress until LeBron James comes back!

The one thing that Darvin Ham has shown is that he has done more coaching work in about a month than Frank Vogel did in the last two years. There is a reason why the Lakers have looked like a complete team in the last three games. The system is starting to sink in and it is allowing players to be productive. Besides the other players mentioned, just look at the list…

  • Russell Westbrook: 10 points and a team high 10 assists. He has over 50 assists in the last four games! 
  • Lonnie Walker IV: 14 points on 6-12 shooting and 2 assists.
  • Kendrick Nunn: All of a sudden is scoring again with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Dennis Schroder: 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

Where does LeBron James fit in here? The system is starting to become bigger than his aura over the franchise. The reason the Lakers are winning is because the last three opponents can’t catch up with the constant ball movement with quick decisions by the player with the ball which sets up the AD lob…

Jason Reed wrote an article about the Los Angeles Lakers and questioned if they were better off without LeBron James.

In the championship context? No, they are not. However, based on how the last three games have gone and how Ham’s schemes have worked in real time without LeBron, he is going to have to make the adjustment to the system as opposed to the roster adjusting to him. That lazy sports narrative is now dead.