As has been the case for the past few seasons, the biggest concern for Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis heading into the start of this season was his ability to stay on the floor. Both he and LeBron James have missed large chunks of games the past two seasons, but while LeBron is in his 20th season and has been extremely durable throughout his career, Davis has struggled with injuries since stepping foot in the league.
During the preseason there were concerns about Davis being held out due to lower back tightness. Both he and Darvin Ham insisted the Lakers were simply being precautionary, but in the home opener, Davis took an awful fall, landing directly on that back. While he stayed in the game and played in the ensuing contests, Davis was held out of Friday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was, again, a freak accident for Davis who was undercut while going for a block, though the outcome could have been much worse. Davis said before the season that his goal was to play all 82 games and while James understands his desire to do so, he also believes his costar has to do what is best for his body, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He has to do what’s best for his body. Do what’s best for his body and his mind. When his mind is gone then everything else will fall to the wayside. So he has to trust himself. Yes he wants to play every game, yes he wants to be out there for our team, but he’s had a lot of bumps and bruises over the last few years so he has to trust himself, trust the staff and not put his body in harm’s way.”
What is unfortunate for Davis is that he is off to an excellent start for the Lakers on both ends of the court. The big man is averaging 24 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals in the four games he has played this season, and looks much closer to the player who dominated the bubble than the one who struggled even when he was on the court last season.
Hopefully with a little rest Davis will be right back on the court sooner rather than later as he will be absolutely crucial if the Lakers have any hopes of turning this season around.
Lakers didn’t want to risk Davis’ back injury getting worse
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham spoke about the reasoning in sitting Davis out against the Timberwolves, namely speaking about the possibility of it getting worse this early into the season.
Ham added that it felt good initially but it just wasn’t worth it to risk it for Davis while also noting that it makes it more likely for him to suit up in the team’s next contest against the Denver Nuggets.
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