With Anthony Davis back on the court, the Los Angeles Lakers finally appear to be getting over their injury woes.
Davis was out for over two months before returning against the Dallas Mavericks, while LeBron James remains on the mend as he rehabs his ankle. James is rumored to be returning soon, but so far there is no return date set.
While the stars for the Lakers are getting healthier, the time for them to get re-acclimated and ready for the playoffs is quickly dwindling. In most situations, both Davis and James would be resting ahead of the postseason but according to head coach Frank Vogel, it appears they will likely be playing in the team’s remaining back-to-back sets if they are healthy.
“I think the plan right now is for AD to certainly to play them all,” Vogel said. “If Bron is back and ready to play, his history suggests that he would want to play in both. Obviously, we’ll make game-time reads on the day of the game as to where he’s at with his ankle and whether he should play in both of those games, but that has not been decided yet.”
The condensed 2020-21 season’s schedule unfortunately backloaded most of the back-to-backs and the Lakers have four sets remaining. Vogel recently admitted he is concerned that Davis and James will not have enough on-court time together before the playoffs so it makes sense as to why he would want them playing down the stretch.
Ahead of their game against the Orlando Magic, Davis’ minutes restriction was lifted, which says that he is over the hump with his injury. He is excited to not have a minutes restriction anymore and is ready to play back-to-backs.
“I missed 30 games, so I think I had enough rest to be able to play those back-to-backs,” Davis said after the win over the Magic. “I plan on playing both games of the back-to-backs that we have.”
When James returns, it is likely his minutes are similarly managed but should see any restrictions removed shortly after barring any setbacks.
The most important thing is that Los Angeles gets to the playoffs healthy because if every player on the roster is available then the Purple and Gold will be the odds-on favorite in any series. Davis and James are too skilled and talented, so it should not take long for the superstar duo to get back up to speed and back to their elite levels of play.
Vogel says James still out indefinitely
Although James has been teasing his return, Vogel maintained that the superstar is still out indefinitely. However, that is more than likely coach-speak as James is within his initial timeline for a return.
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