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“If the Diesel don’t play well, we don’t have a shot” – Shaquille O’Neal talks about his role for LA Lakers, believes Anthony Davis has same role  

Anthony Davis, the second part of the LA Lakers‘ big three, has been sidelined for more than four weeks. And Shaquille O’Neal said “The Brow’s” return can’t come soon enough, because he could be essential for the Lakers making a turnaround.

The center injured his knee against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 17. After missing 15 games with a sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Davis is expected to return soon. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin’s reported that the 6-foot-10 All-Star will make his return during Los Angeles’ six-game, East Coast road swing that will close out the month.

Anthony Davis struggled to get to the locker room after an apparent knee injury in the third quarter. https://t.co/MOBSzzrYYJ

With the Lakers (22-23) continuing their mediocre season, his return could be what they need to start winning consistently.

On the “Big Wig” podcast, Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal said Davis’ return could be key to solving the Lakers’ problems. He compared AD to himself, stating their importance in the team structure. He said that if either Davis or he doesn’t dominate the game, they don’t win.

“The key is Mr. AD,” O’Neal said. “For example, when we were winning, I was the key. If I don’t play well, if I don’t dominate, we don’t win. I don’t want people to think I’m taking shots. I’m never taking shots.

“Kobe (Bryant) was the man. We all know that, fourth-quarter closer. But if the Diesel don’t play well, we don’t have a shot. That’s why, if you could look back, I had to force myself to average 40.”


Shaquille O’Neal believes Anthony Davis’ return to be key for LA Lakers

Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers leaves the court after playing the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 21 in Detroit, Michigan.
Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers leaves the court after playing the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 21 in Detroit, Michigan.

Anthony Davis has had a good run this season statistically, averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27 appearances. He leads the Lakers in rebounds, free throws and blocks.

Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal believes Davis’ return could be key for the Lakers, who have lost four of their last five games. Shaq emphasized that the Lakers need Davis to dominate the game for them to stand a chance. He went on to say that it is impossible to play one-on-one games and match the young players’ energy.

“AD has to dominate for them to be saved, for them to play at that next level,” O’Neal said. “This playing one-on-one and all that, you can’t match up with these young guys unless you match their energy. You can’t match their energy, because when you get older, you just don’t have it until a certain time.”


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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein



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