The Lakers need you, Anthony Davis. They need you to be the All-NBA big man you have been in four of your 11 seasons. To be the MVP candidate you have played like in each of them. To score. To rebound. To dominate.

To be, well, Anthony Davis.

The Lakers are in trouble. LeBron James is out with a foot injury, and it could be weeks before he returns. Any post trade-deadline momentum L.A. has built was dashed when cellphone cameras caught James limping out of American Airlines Center in Dallas on Sunday. The Lakers are a game back of the final play-in spot in the Western Conference, but they will likely have to secure it with the all-time great in street clothes.

They need Anthony Davis. Not the fragile, injury-prone version the Lakers have had over the past few seasons, but the player who powered the Lakers to a championship in the COVID-19 bubble. Not the one with the back, wrist, feet or groin injuries, but the dominating post player who can single-handedly change games on the defensive end.

On Tuesday, the Lakers got the latter version of Davis. Yes, they lost to Memphis, 121–109. No shame in that. The Grizzlies are a 37-win team with a strong hold on a No. 3 seed. They have Ja Morant, one of the NBA’s best playmakers, and Jaren Jackson Jr., a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year. The Lakers came to town down James and D’Angelo Russell.