The Los Angeles Lakers squared off against the Orlando Magic on Saturday in their second of three scrimmages, and Anthony Davis looked like a man on a mission to begin the game.
In nine first-quarter minutes, Davis had nine points, 10 rebounds, an assist and a block while shooting 2-for-3 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line, consistently attacking the basket while also dominating on the other end of the floor.
If the Lakers want to win a championship this season, then Davis will have to assert his dominance like that on both ends of the court. Unfortunately, he was hit in the eye late in the first quarter and was forced to come out of the game and head back to the locker room to get it looked at.
After being evaluated by the team’s medical staff, the Lakers determined that he is done for the day, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Davis will not return to the game. https://t.co/aCVkTG8lDJ
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 25, 2020
Davis being out for the game is not surprising considering it is just a scrimmage. It’s unclear how bad the eye injury is, although even if it isn’t serious, there’s no reason to push him and risk re-injury by sending him back out there.
The Lakers have one final scrimmage against the Washington Wizards on Monday evening, so that will be Davis’ first opportunity to return to the court. If he misses that game, he could be limited to practices until Laker begin their eight seeding games on Thursday night against the L.A. Clippers.
While the seeding games could determine where the Lakers fall in the Western Conference standings, they have a 5.5-game lead for the top seed, so they can afford to be cautious in those games as well if Davis isn’t quite ready to return.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said postgame that Davis would be re-evaluated Sunday and for the time being was considered day-to-day.
Davis stresses importance of transition defense
The Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in the league this season, although one area where they can continue to improve is in transition. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, as well as Davis, recently stressed the importance of that.
“I think we’re pretty close,” Davis said this week. “There still are some things we need to work on, but we were one of the worst teams in transition defense, so we’ve been going over that and watching a ton of film. I think everybody came back in shape, you could tell guys were working during the break. Now it’s just about putting it all back together.”
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