The Los Angeles Lakers are still adapting to life without Anthony Davis, who will remain on the sidelines for at least two more weeks.
L.A. lost four straight games as Dennis Schroder joined Davis in being unavailable due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. But while the Lakers are hoping the guard will return against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, Davis doesn’t even participate in on-court drills and instead focuses on strengthening the injured leg for the time being.
However, head coach Frank Vogel said the 27-year-old All-Star is keeping active during games, frequently sharing his thoughts and observations on the team’s display. “Just staying engaged in the game, talking to coaches or his teammates about coverages or offensive spacing concepts, ways he can share his lens on what he’s seeing from the bench,” Vogel said.
However, Vogel revealed that Davis doesn’t participate in coaches’ meetings, a privilege he offered to Rajon Rondo during his rehab early into the NBA restart last year.
“No, he’s just been involved in all the team meetings,” Vogel said of Davis. “Any time our group is together, he’s with us, but not in any coaches’ meetings.”
Vogel continues experimenting with L.A.’s rotations in effort of pulling the defending champions out of their recent slump. The head coach gifted Talen Horton-Tucker the second start of his NBA career in the 114-89 loss to the Utah Jazz, adding a second ballhandler next to LeBron James on the floor.
But Vogel can’t wait for Schroder to boost the Lakers with his energy and hustle on both ends of the floor upon his return from the seven-day quarantine.
Vogel: Jazz are ‘the hottest team in the NBA’
Utah blew out the Lakers on Wednesday, chalking up a 22nd win in the last 24 games. After the loss, Vogel said that no one currently plays better basketball in the NBA than the Jazz. “The way they’re shooting the ball, the way they’re connected defensively, the continuity bump they’re getting by having the same team come back,” he said.
“All those things are playing out well. Coach Quinn Snyder is doing a phenomenal job with them and they’re playing like the best team in the league right now.”
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