Lakers Rumors: Anthony Davis Expected To Play Both Legs Of April Back-To-Back Against Jazz & Clippers
Anthony Davis, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis missed 20 games spanning over one month earlier this season due to a stress reaction in his foot. Since returning, the Los Angeles Lakers star forward has missed just three games, all of them being on the first or second night of a back-to-back.

The Lakers are 1-2 in those three games with the most notable loss being this past week against the Houston Rockets. Davis was dominant in the team’s blowout win over the New Orleans Pelicans but was immediately ruled out for the following night against the Rockets.

Given the pivotal nature of every game due to the Western Conference standings, Davis and the Lakers were criticized for sticking to their plan of resting on one part of the back-to-back. L.A. has one back-to-back remaining on their schedule on April 4 and 5 against the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers.

Reportedly, all indications are pointing towards Davis being allowed to play in both of those games, according to Chris Haynes via the #thisleague Uncut podcast:

“I know he received some flack for (sitting out vs. Houston), just with the stakes that the Lakers are in, again, needing each game they can get in the latter stages of this regular season. But the way it was explained to me, Stein, is… just about how powerful the medical staffs of today’s NBA, how powerful they are today. I know a lot of players get criticized for load management, sitting out games and doing all that stuff, but the medical staff has a large part to play in that. So the way it was explained to me was that AD had to pick which back-to-back to play in: their back-to-back last week, and then their last back-to-back is… April 4 in Utah and April 5 Clippers. How it was explained to me is that AD will play in that back-to-back, so that would be his first back-to-back since returning from injury… that will be his first back-to-back playing in. Again, hopefully he doesn’t suffer an injury before that, but if he’s healthy, he will play in that back-to-back. Which they need that set of games at that point in the season more than their last set of back-to-backs.”

If the report is true that Davis was allowed to pick which back-to-back he would play in, then it stands to reason that he did not play against the Rockets last week. The Jazz-Clippers back-to-back on April 4 and 5 is likely going to be a make-or-break set of games with the standings.

Not only are the Jazz one of the teams L.A. is fighting with in the standings, but it would also be their last chance to secure the tiebreaker with Utah. L.A. is 0-2 against the Jazz this season and have two games remaining. If they lose their game on the fourth, they would not have the tiebreaker regardless of what happens in their final matchup on the last day of the regular season.

And while the Clippers are still technically within shouting distance of the Lakers in the standings, playing in that game is more important because it could be alongside LeBron James. If James has returned from his foot injury by then, it would be an ideal way for the team to build quick chemistry around James and Davis.

The Lakers have 10 games left in their schedule and provided Davis stays healthy, there’s no reason he can’t compete in all 10.

James expected back at some point this season

While Lakers head coach Darvin Ham couldn’t get into specifics, he did say that James will be returning to the lineup at some point during the 2022-23 season. The hope is that he can get back with a few games remaining in the regular season to allow time for the team to play together.

If not, the Lakers will have to make at least the Play-In Tournament without James.

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