It is safe to say that Anthony Davis is back to playing at his normal elite level after he turned in another solid performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
Davis played 43 minutes in the thrilling overtime victory and though he shot a poor 8-of-23 from the field, he was key on the defensive end. The 28-year-old was able to suffocate the Knicks in the fourth quarter and overtime, using his superior length and instincts to snuff out any actions and force them into tough contested looks.
Despite the strong effort, it appeared Davis came up hobbling a few times throughout the night and the star admitted that he was playing through some discomfort in his groin.
“I’m hurt (laughs). Not more so my body, my groin got tight. That was really it,” Davis said after the game. “Not sure where it came from, but the groin got a little tight. There was no way I was coming out of the game. Big game for us. A team that’s playing red hot. The situation we’re in trying to battle for sixth. It’s a big game for them. They’re trying to battle for fourth and keep that fourth seed.
“I think they might be sixth now after the loss. I’m not sure. It was a huge game for us and I didn’t want to come out no matter the injury. Finish the game and make sure we secured the win.”
However, Davis added that he is hoping he’ll be able to suit up against the Houston Rockets in the second game of the back-to-back on Wednesday.
“Not sure about tomorrow. I’m going to get treatment and see how I feel. I want to see I’m going to play, but it was really bothering me tonight. But we’ll see how I feel tomorrow and later on in the day there’s a very strong possibility I’ll fight through it and play since the next day is an off day, but also don’t want to have this lagging and now I’m out for a couple days. We’ll see how I feel.”
It is concerning that Davis is battling yet another injury, though it appears as if it was not considered serious enough to hold him out of the remainder of the game. Davis did not show any ill side effects in his movements as he was able to still help and recover like he normally does, though it may have contributed to his poor shooting night.
The Lakers can not afford to lose Davis again, especially with the postseason just around the corner. Head coach Frank Vogel recently said that the big man is playing with playoff intensity Which bodes well for the Purple and Gold but his health has to be the main priority.
Davis has done his best to shed his injury-prone level since joining the Lakers and while his groin injury does not seem serious it will be something to monitor when they take on the Rockets.
According to Vogel, the training staff took a look at Davis during the game and ruled that he could continue playing despite his groin. However, the head coach added that his availability for the Houston game will depend on how he feels the day of.
“Just that it was tight and that he could continue and wanted to continue. We’ll just see how it responds overnight in terms of his availability for tomorrow.”
Davis enjoyed battling with Randle
One of the reasons that Davis is banged up is because he and his former teammates, Julius Randle, we guarding each other and playing extremely physical all night.
Davis discussed what it was like playing against Randle and how far the first-time All-Star has come in his development.
“Ju is just my guy. I played with him in New Orleans and he’s definitely developed his game with shooting ability and off the dribble. Those last couple of possessions I just had to lock in defensively to make sure he wasn’t going to score and help the team. I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end. He shot it a little higher than normal, but he’s been playing like this all year.
“I think he’s an MVP candidate. He should for sure win Most Improved [Player] with what he’s doing. He’s got this team in the playoffs right now on a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs for a while, so he’s playing his ass off and you can do nothing but respect him.”
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