Since, he has been left to claim Los Angles would’ve beaten the Suns if not for injury last year and wonder what Los Angeles would’ve done if not for injury this year.
The Lakers (31-47) are barely hanging in the play-in race. Davis has missed 39 games. LeBron James has missed 22 games (and counting?). Kendrick Nunn, Los Angeles’ fifth-highest-paid player, has missed the whole season.
Davis, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I think the biggest thing that I think about personally is what we could have been, had we stayed healthy all year,” said Davis, who has missed 39 of L.A.’s 78 games because of various injuries. “What could we have been. … Guys feel like, ‘OK, what could we have been if I was healthy all year, [LeBron James] was healthy, [Kendrick] Nunn was healthy.’ You think about those things. We put this team together and it looked good on paper, but we haven’t had a chance to reach that potential with guys in and out of the lineup.
“So the most frustrating part of this season is not being sure of what we could have been.”
The Lakers have gotten outscored when LeBron and Davis share the court (by 30 points in 576 minutes). If you’re wondering, Los Angeles has barely kept its head above water (+4 in 183 minutes) when LeBron and Davis share the court without Russell Westbrook, who has too often been destructive.
Maybe the Lakers would’ve developed better chemistry if healthier. Perhaps, Nunn would’ve unlocked better-fitting lineups.
But it’s hard to give the Lakers benefit of the doubt when they’ve been outscored even while LeBron and Davis – two of the NBA’s biggest stars – shared the floor.
Los Angeles’ supporting cast came in on the low end of a wide range of expectations. Westbrook refused to embrace a supporting role at all. Davis played below his usual high standards even while healthy.
Yes, the Lakers – with LeBron and Davis – had a higher untapped ceiling than most 16-games-under-.500 teams. But Los Angeles was so flawed, it’s tough to get hung up on missed its missed possibilities.