The 2023-2024 NBA training camp is slowly but surely approaching, and while there’s still plenty of time until it starts, it’s time for players to ramp up their training and preparation.
This is especially for Los Angeles Lakers, who hope to win their 18th world championship next summer. They magically rebuilt a broken roster in January and February, and now they’re aiming for the sky instead of trying to tread water.
Anthony Davis Arguably his most productive season yet, many feel there is still room for improvement. Focusing on these three goals will allow him to play to his full potential next season.
Continue to be a beast on defense and on the boards
Last season, Davis showed a ferocious rebounding and blocking ability that was simply outstanding. He averaged 12.5 rebounds per game and would have officially led the NBA in that category had he played enough games to qualify. Davis also added 2.0 blocks per game and, as usual, was the backbone of the Lakers’ defense.
During the playoffs, he improved in both categories. He recorded 14.1 boards and 3.1 blocks per contest, and he eclipsed the 20-rebound mark twice and the five-block mark three times.
Head coach Darwin Hamm has created a defense-oriented culture, and Davis must continue that type of production to maintain Los Angeles’ new status as a stingy defensive team.
Be more consistent
From mid-November to mid-December, Davis went on a streak few NBA players have ever produced. Through 13 games, he averaged 32.4 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 64.1 percent from the field.
But during the regular season and in the playoffs, he played at times. His inconsistency isn’t as bad as some have made it out to be, especially since his effort has been consistent on defense and on the boards, but the Lakers could afford to see him play fewer games with less than 20 points, especially in the postseason.
Needless to say, Davis is injury prone. After staying healthy for the entire championship season, he has played in 36, 40 and 56 games in the three years since.
In the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns, he suffered multiple injuries that cost him time. But last season, after returning from a stress injury to his right foot, he played in nearly every game from that point on.
Los Angeles might be able to survive without him for a few weeks during the regular season. But anything more than that could be a major cause for concern.