Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has been dealing with a back injury to start the season, missing one game and looking hobbled in several others.
The 29-year-old has been showing his toughness though, playing through it and averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.3 blocks in 35.6 minutes per game for the Lakers. Davis has shown he can still be a two-way force, and perhaps has another level he can get too if he sheds this back issue.
The good news is that Davis’ status seems to be improving. He told Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group after practice on Saturday that his back is getting better each day:
“Each day I’m progressing. Each day I’m getting better, back is getting better each and every day. It felt pretty good last night. It felt pretty good whenever we played New Orleans and I only expect that it will feel even better tomorrow.”
After Friday night’s loss against the Utah Jazz, the Lakers have a quick turnaround before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon. That is the first end of a back-to-back as L.A. will then travel to take on the Jazz again on Monday night.
A back-to-back with travel in between isn’t ideal for someone dealing with a back issue, but Davis said he plans on playing in both games:
“Yes. That’s the plan. Hopefully nothing happen where I can’t.”
Obviously it will depend on how Davis’ back responds to Sunday’s game and if he has any setbacks, but it is good to see that he feels healthy enough to play in both games and is actually improving.
Davis looked dominant in the first half against the Jazz to the tune of 20 points. He wasn’t as involved in the second half though and only scored two points on four shot attempts in the loss.
For a struggling 2-6 team, the Lakers can’t afford one of their top scorers to go missing for that long so Davis put the onus on himself to demand the ball more moving forward.
Ham praises Davis for growth in leadership and injury management
Overall though, Davis is off to a solid start to the season both on and off the court. Head coach Darvin Ham recently praised Davis for his growth in leadership as well as his ability to manage the back issue and still play at an All-Star level on the floor.
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