The Lakers all-star promises caution in rehab
When the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Denver Nuggets last Sunday, the LakeShow came in as winners of an impressive seven straight games. After some early struggles to begin the season, Laker’s star forward Anthony Davis was starting to find his rhythm approaching the midway point in the season. Unfortunately, late into the second quarter, Davis came off the floor limping after reaggravating his right achilles.
Davis had been dealing with tendinosis in his right achilles for the past couple of weeks. When asked how he was feeling days before the injury Davis said, “I felt great coming back against Memphis, and I’m going to do the same thing, the same steps to get it back right.” He then noted that he’ll be more cautious and aggressive in his rehabbing.
Lebron James and company were unable to keep their win streak alive, as Nikola Jokic stole the show with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Denver advanced to 15-11 after beating the team that eliminated them from the playoffs just months ago in Orlando.
An MRI the following Monday suggested that along with the reaggravated tendinosis in his right calf, Davis also suffered a strain in his calf muscle. With achilles injuries being as detrimental as any kind, the Lakers will likely shelf AD until at least the end of all-star weekend. Laker teammate Lebron James weighed in on the status of Davis, emphasizing, “Just overall safety and (his) health, that’s my only concern.”
James knows how crucial playoff positioning can be, especially in the competitive and deep Western Conference, but a fully healthy Anthony Davis is of the utmost importance if the team is to make another run at a second straight title and beat teams like the Nuggets, Clippers or Jazz along the way.
With the Lakers sitting in the second seed behind the scorching hot Utah Jazz, (23-5) starters and bench players will be asked to pick up their play as a unit. There is no replacing Anthony Davis, Lebron knows that. “We know what AD’s meant for this team. Obviously, there’s no replacing him, but everyone has got to chip in and be better.” Newly acquired Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell will be looked upon to man the frontcourt in AD’s absence.
With Anthony Davis out and Lebron James building a case for the MVP award, the lack of AD could spur Lebron to take on more responsibility, and depending on how the team fairs without him, may pencil his name in for the most prestigious regular-season accolade. Only time will tell how Lebron James and the Lakers will handle this difficult situation.