Know Your Meme Dot Com describes the Got That Dog In Him phenomenon as follows: "A catchphrase meant to describe a person, usually an athlete, who is mentally tough and able to perform in important situations."
That description is pretty much the antithesis of Anthony Davis as we've come to know him. Dude might be the most fragile fringe superstar of the modern NBA era, not to mention when he does play, AD can tend to disappear for entire quarters, games and stretches of contests that make you question whether or not he chose basketball for a career simply because he's tall and athletic as fuck.
Based on what Davis has done in leading the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-game winning streak without LeBron James, everything I was led to believe about this guy has fundamentally changed. I thought LBJ was the guy who needed to keep giving him a series of swift kicks in the ass just to get Davis in the mood to be semi-aggressive on any given night. Once the oldest 29-year-old athlete I've ever seen only managed to play in 76 games across the past two regular seasons since LA's bubble championship run, I'd pretty much abandoned hope we'd see anything approaching Prime AD on a consistent basis going forward.
What the fuck got into Anthony Davis? I don't care who the competition is that he's facing (Nets, Pistons and Spurs in succession at home). You don't put up those numbers by accident. This is downright historic shit we're talking about. Like prime-Shaq levels.
Especially with LeBron out of the lineup, it's not like Davis is playing alongside a bunch of world beaters — all due respect to Barstool's own PatBev. The Fear The Brow movement seems alive and well again out of absolutely nowhere and you can't help but be at least a little switched on if you care about basketball at all.
Look, it's still early as hell in the NBA season. Difficult to draw conclusions either way. Making an informed guess right now, I have doubts the Lakers can even make the play-in tournament. Even with their recent run during Davis' resurgence, they only have a 5-10 record overall.
All I'm saying is, if this is the AD we're seeing going forward, and LA can figure out how to get him heavily involved and engage like this while reintegrating LeBron into the fold upon his return, MAYBE there's something special here. The mere fact that there's a smidgen of hope for Anthony Davis and that he's unearthed his inner canine is something all basketball purists should be ecstatic about.