The Los Angeles Lakers are bracing themselves for a long and challenging title defense as teams across the league keep boosting their rosters ahead of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
The L.A. Clippers are hoping to dethrone their local rivals in the Western Conference after falling flat during last year’s postseason. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade to bring in former MVP James Harden from the Houston Rockets.
Harden reunited with his ex-teammate Kevin Durant and together with the 2016 champion Kyrie Irving, gave rise to the league’s newest Big Three and Super Team.
Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis previously said he was curious how Harden’s arrival would affect the Nets, but recently admitted to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols he considered Brooklyn a serious contender in the battle for the NBA championship:
“They’re definitely a threat. They’re a team that can score at will, they’re a good team and I think they’re the favorite in the East now that J.H.(James Harden) went over there. It’s going to be a fun battle. It’s definitely going to be a battle.”
The Lakers and Nets will square off in a preview of a potential NBA Finals matchup at Staples Center on Thursday. However, Davis will miss the showdown due to the re-aggravated Achilles injury and calf strain he suffered in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Rich Paul expects Davis to pause longer than three-week re-evaluation period
Although the Lakers said Davis didn’t tear his Achilles, the forward is facing several weeks on the sidelines due to the latest setback. L.A. announced his condition would be re-evaluated in two to three weeks, prompting hopes of a post-All-Star break return.
But Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, said it’s likely the Lakers superstar will miss games even after the initial re-evaluation period. Davis already sat out a couple of games due to the Achilles injury, missing two of the three overtime games during the recent five-game homestand.
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