The Los Angeles Lakers continue their road trip on Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets, and for the first time in over a month, Anthony Davis will be on the floor alongside his teammates.
Davis has not played since suffering a sprain left MCL on Dec 17. He originally was upgraded to questionable before Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat although he ultimately was not able to suit up.
Frank Vogel said his status for the game against the Nets would be determined after his workout on Monday. The Lakers then upgraded him to probable, which was the first sign that he would be able to return. It was then made official that he would play after testing out the knee pregame in Brooklyn.
With Davis returning, the expectation is that he will play a lot of center for the Lakers moving forward. The Lakers played a lot of small-ball with LeBron James at center in Davis’ absence, although their defense struggled greatly so they will gladly welcome their rim protector back.
What Davis’ return means for Dwight Howard remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt he has earned some playing time moving forward, even if he’s coming off the bench.
On the Nets’ side of things, they will be without two of their three stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in this game. Durant is dealing with the same MCL sprain Davis is coming back from, while Irving still cannot play in home games due to his vaccination status.
Meanwhile, Joe Harris continues to be out with an ankle injury while Nic Claxton, who has been dealing with left hamstring tightness, is expected to return and play against L.A.
Even though it’s against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, this is definitely a winnable game for the Lakers considering how many key players the Nets will be without.
The same was the case for the Lakers all season, although with Davis now returning, Kendrick Nunn is the only player on the team currently out with an injury. Davis is expected to have a minutes restriction in his return, although Frank Vogel did not give a specific number, just that they would monitor him and be responsible.
Lakers (23-24) vs. Nets (29-17)
Jan. 25, 2022, 4:30 p.m. PT
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: TNT, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Carmelo Anthony, Stanley Johnson, Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard
Projected Nets Starting Lineup:
PG: Patty Mills
SG: James Harden
SF: Bruce Brown
PF: Kessler Edwards
C: Nic Claxton
Key Reserves: Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson, Cam Thomas, DeAndre’ Bembry, Day’Ron Sharpe
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