Los Angeles Lakers star big man Anthony Davis didn’t play on March 15 against the Houston Rockets, a game Los Angeles lost by four points. AD played the previous night versus the New Orleans Pelicans, so the Lakers held the Chicago native out the next day.
Davis was re-evaluated by doctors nearly two weeks ago, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The All-Star’s right foot was looked at and the foot “did not show significant healing.” Davis suffered a stress injury in his foot in December.
The Lakers have one more back-to-back this season. They face the Utah Jazz on April 4 and the Los Angeles Clippers on April 5 and it appears Davis will play in both games, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
“I know (Davis) 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,” Haynes said on the March 20 episode of his podcast with Marc Stein. “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: The back-to-back last week, and then their last back-to-back is… April 4 in Utah, and then 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 part of the season more than their last set of back-to-backs.”
Both the Jazz and Clippers are ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings. The purple and gold have 10 games remaining in the regular season, beginning on March 22 against the Phoenix Suns.
Darvin Ham Remains Coy About Anthony Davis
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham didn’t reveal to reporters on March 21 if Davis will play against the Jazz and Clippers in April. It appears Ham is trying to be coy.
“We have a plan in place and we’re following that plan closely,” Ham said. “If anything should change when we get to that moment, you’ll be the first to know, but outside of that, we’re sticking to our plan as of right now.”
Davis is averaging 25.8 points and 12.5 rebounds this season while shooting 55.9% from the field and 79.8% from the free-throw line. Since LeBron James is still out with a right foot tendon injury, Davis has to play at an extremely high level for the Lakers to win games.
LeBron James May Not Come Back This Season
Haynes said it’s not guaranteed James will play again this season. The King will be re-evaluated by doctors soon.
“I think obviously the goal is for LeBron to return at some point before the season concludes, but what I’m hearing is that still might be a push right there, him returning at some point,” Haynes said. “I reported a few weeks ago that… the Lakers had to try and do whatever they could to try to win as many games as possible to give LeBron James as much time to recover as possible. So that means that even when he does come back, he might not be fully healthy, but (they are) just trying to buy him some time. With that being said, I don’t know how realistic it is that he returns with some games left in the regular season. That is definitely the goal, LeBron James is shooting for that, I just don’t know how realistic it is right now… Can LeBron come back the final two games of the regular season? … I think definitely that’s a possibility, but I think it’s still premature as of right now. The way it was explained to me is that might be a push right there.”