Since the Lakers won the 2020 title, Anthony Davis has changed. His statistics have been hurt by a shortened summer following the Orlando bubble and a few nagging injuries that have kept him off the court for the majority of the last two years. He has only participated in 76 regular-season games overall since winning the championship, but this year, he has set a lofty objective in the hopes that it would help the Lakers return to the promised land. In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet at the Lakers’ media day, Davis stated, “My personal aim is just, one, as much as I can, play all 82 [games].”
Davis almost probably won’t play all 82 games for the obvious reasons. Despite the fact that he hasn’t played that many games in any of the previous two seasons put together, very few players in the current NBA ever play 82 games. Even at full health, load management normally caps starts around 75 or so. Davis, who has experienced numerous injuries over his career, should normally anticipate playing less.
The Lakers’ objective is probably very different. The team’s main concern is presumably keeping Davis healthy in March and April, when their games begin to count, even if they probably wouldn’t mind if he missed 15 games overall. A healthy Davis is crucial to the Lakers’ chances of returning to the postseason. He is more likely to be fit and rested in April if he only plays 65 games as opposed to 82.
Davis’s season’s success or failure will ultimately depend on his health. No matter what the team does, if he can’t stay on the floor, it won’t matter. Davis will need to be managed throughout the season by Darvin Ham and the team’s medical staff as his concept of health and the team’s tend to diverge.