The injury hits for the Los Angeles Lakers have been non-stop this season and the team’s recent contest with the Los Angeles Clippers added more concerns for their recently returned superstar. Anthony Davis left early in the game with what many assumed was an ankle issue.
Early in the first quarter, Davis turned his ankle while backpedaling after attempting a three-pointer. He stepped into the scorer’s table, tweaking the right ankle and staying down for a moment. Davis would stay in the game before checking out for his normal rest, but would eventually leave the bench area and never returned to the game.
Davis was eventually ruled out of the game by the Lakers which wasn’t surprising, but the reason came from out of nowhere. Instead of the ankle, the Lakers said Davis was suffering from back spasms which would prevent him from returning, and Davis confirmed after the contest that his ankle was fine, but his back was an issue.
“The ankle is fine,” Davis said after the game. “It wasn’t bothering me. My back locked up pretty bad. That’s it. It feels a little better now. We’ll see how it is tomorrow.”
The game got out of hand extremely quickly so some would argue that the better move was to just keep Davis out for the rest of the contest. This is especially true considering that next contest is less than 24 hours later against the Portland Trail Blazers, and Davis knows just how big of a game that will be.
“I know the spirit in the locker room is still high. Guys came in after the game and said, ‘Put it behind us. We got another one tomorrow.’ So guys are still great with their minds and their spirit about the rest of the season and for the playoffs and tomorrow that’s probably the biggest game after these games.
“Guys are still optimistic and we’re still fighting. Guys’ spirits are still high.”
The loss to the Clippers moved the Lakers into a tie for the sixth seed with the Blazers and the season-series is currently tied at one win apiece. As such, the winner of this next clash will get the tiebreaker, which will be a major advantage as they fight to stay out of the play-in tournament.
With the Lakers already down LeBron James, Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker, the team is in dire need of anyone who can create shots. Not having Davis for this game would make a difficult task even tougher, but that seems to be the case for all Lakers games this season.
While Davis will see how he feels in the morning before deciding if he can play, the Lakers having an off day on Saturday will perhaps push him to play in the big game against Portland harder.
“Yeah, we do have a day off the next day. … That for sure will add a little juice for the plan tomorrow,” Davis concluded.
Anthony Davis commends Lakers for ‘next man up’ mentality
Very few teams have dealt with the consistent injuries the Lakers have all season. In addition to the major injuries that kept Davis and James out for a long time, the rest of the team has been in and out with minor issues and that has caused Frank Vogel to have to rely on every person on the roster at different points.
The Lakers have maintained playoff position despite this with players stepping up, and Davis praised the team for embracing that kind of mentality. “It’s been all season for us whether it’s health and safety protocols or someone is injured,” Davis said.
“It’s kind of been what has been happening to us all year. We had the mindset of and I had the mindset of next guy, next man up. No matter who is on the floor, the five that’s on the floor we got to compete.”
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