Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has not looked quite like himself for a majority of the 2020-21 season. Many assumed that Davis was simply coasting through the regular season and preserving himself for the playoffs.
However, on Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Davis was ruled out due to right Achilles tendonosis. This injury — as well as the soreness and minor issues that led to it — could explain why Davis has been out of rhythm at the start of the season.
“I think it can break your rhythm a little bit when you’re trying to get going and ramp up after an unconventional offseason. But it’s just the nature of an 82- or 72-game season. You’re going to get dinged up from time to time,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
When asked what the plan was for Davis moving forward — including potentially playing fewer minutes upon returning — Vogel was noncommittal. “We haven’t discussed any of that yet. He was hoping to play tonight,” Vogel said.
“We haven’t discussed if it’s going to be multiple games or not. As of right now he’s going to miss tonight. Hopefully he feels better [Tuesday] and is ready to go on Wednesday.”
Davis is listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s matchup with the Thunder. Alex Caruso, who also didn’t play Monday because of a right hand strain, was given the same designation.
Vogel stated holding Davis out was simply precautionary and not indicative of something more serious. “He first felt it, I think, in the first half of last game,” Vogel said Monday.
“Got some work done it at halftime. It was just some soreness and they felt like he was OK to get back in there to play. It was pretty sore on the off day, the day after, and we just wanted to be precautious.”
Given the fact that it’s an Achilles injury and that Davis has been out of rhythm anyways, it would not be surprising to see him get Wednesday night — and perhaps even more games — off until back to full health.
The Lakers play the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, meaning their next game against a team over .500 won’t be until Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. Holding Davis out until then would amount to a full seven days off between games.
LeBron James glad Lakers’ ‘championship DNA’ is being tested
Without Davis or Caruso in the lineup, the Lakers were once again tested all the way to an overtime period against the Thunder. This came just two nights after double overtime against the lowly Detroit Pistons.
LeBron James said playing in close games is great for the Lakers, even if they can’t load manage because of it.
“I love that no matter who you’re playing against. Teams that take you down to wire, make you execute, you have to be perfect defensively and offensively to win a game. It’s pretty cool. I love it,” he said.
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