The Los Angeles Lakers conclude their short road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves and once again won’t have Anthony Davis due to his calf strain that is related to the right Achilles tendinosis he had been battling.
Davis may be out until after the All-Star break but that is something head coach Frank Vogel and LeBron James are ready for. “We’ve played games without him and won games without him,” Vogel said Sunday. “We’ve got plenty of firepower to win games.”
While Vogel was non-committal at the time about how much time he might miss, James was more certain that Davis would be sidelined for a prolonged stretch. “For me, all I care about is health,” James said.
“I want him to be healthy, our team needs him to be healthy and he’s got to make sure he takes all the precautionary reasons, do his due diligence on what is going on with his injury and be right when he comes back. No rush, no timetable. We have no idea from that aspect, but we just want him to be healthy and get back to full strength.”
James also said the Lakers will be more prepared now than they were when Davis initially left the game against the Denver Nuggets. “Obviously it’s a tough blow because he was playing so well up until the injury,” James said.
“He goes out of the game for the rest of the game, it’s kind of hard to pick up that production. But we will have an ability to prepare for it now with him possibly being out in Minnesota. We’ll have a better gameplan of what we need to do offensively and defensively in his absence.”
While the Timberwolves have talent throughout their roster, it has not translated to wins. The Lakers need to take advantage to get some momentum without one of their star players.
Perhaps the most difficult matchup is taking care of Karl-Anthony Towns, who may have a chance to feast against the Lakers. They allow the seventh-most points in the paint in the NBA. Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell need to put up one of their best defensive games of the season against one of the league’s most skilled big men.
Lakers guards could also have their hands full if D’Angelo Russell can play. He’s missed the Timberwolves last four games due to left leg soreness.
This is also L.A.’s first look at 2020 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards, who has been decent for the Timberwolves and was recently moved into the starting lineup.
Lakers (21-7) vs. Timberwolves (7-20)
5:00 p.m. PT, Feb. 16, 2021
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers starting lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Dennis Schroder
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Marc Gasol
Key Reserves: Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, Markieff Morris
Projected Timberwolves starting lineup:
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: D’Angelo Russell
SF: Anthony Edwards
PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
Key Reserves: Malik Beasley, Jarrett Culver, Naz Reid, Juan Hernangomez, Jaden McDaniels
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