Alex Caruso believes Anthony Davis and LeBron James never recovered from the shortened offseason after the bubble championship.
Los Angeles Lakers are slowly climbing up the ladder in the western conference after a shabby start to the season. Anthony Davis led them to an easy win over San Antonio Spurs in LeBron’s absence. The Lakers have been riddled with injuries since April. LBJ, Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Nunn are sidelined at the moment and Anthony Davis is listed ‘Day-to-Day’ every other game.
Ex- Laker Alex Caruso made some bold statements about his former team on JJ Redick’s podcast. He revealed what led him to sign with the Chicago Bulls instead of the Lakers during the offseason. Clearly, he made the right choice given Chicago’s position in the east right now. He is getting considerable minutes off the bench and has improved almost every aspect of his game.
.@jj_redick: “Blink once if my contract guess for the Lakers is over and blink twice if it’s under: Two for 15. That was their initial offer”
Alex Caruso: [blinks once]
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) November 10, 2021
LA Lakers’ championship hopes depend on LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ health
Alex Caruso described how injuries affected the 2019-20 champions, especially LeBron James and Anthony Davis last season. The shortened offseason after the bubble clearly impacted LA Lakers and Miami Heat more than any other team. Both teams were first-round exits in the playoffs and injuries had a significant role to play in it.
Caruso was of the same opinion when he told The Athletic’s Bill Oram,
“We couldn’t get healthy and part of that was the quick turnaround (from the bubble), too. Like, I don’t think AD ever really got back to full strength after the Finals run. I don’t even know if Bron did. He did a better job of hiding it.”
However, the injuries weren’t specific to the Lakers as most teams had their fair share in the playoffs. What most likely separates them is the fact that they didn’t get enough time to heal between the seasons. Anthony Davis has always been extremely injury-prone while LeBron James, in his 19th year in the NBA, is finally showing signs of aging.
Lakers’ two most important players missed close to 40 games in the regular season last year. Although AD played all games so far this season, the King has missed 8. Their odds of winning the title this year are faint even if their entire roster is healthy. The absence of a few starters will likely result in another first-round exit.
Frank Vogel says LeBron James is “looking good” physically in his individual workouts. James hasn’t done contact yet and Vogel isn’t sure if he’d need a full practice before playing again. Says James is still day-to-day.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 14, 2021
Also Read: “I’ll credit part of my defensive IQ to LeBron James and Rondo, the amount of knowledge Bron has stored in his head is phenomenal”: Alex Caruso credits Lakers veterans with improving his defensive IQ for the Bulls on JJ Redick’s podcast
LeBron James is currently sidelined with an abdominal strain. There is no return schedule set in place for him. Frank Vogel told the media that he is making good progress and will likely return in a few days.