The Los Angeles Lakers will not have Anthony Davis on their active roster when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night due to a right calf contusion he suffered on opening night and re-aggravated on Friday.
Davis played through discomfort on Friday and he likely would have done it again on Sunday if the stakes were higher for the Lakers, but because it’s just the third game of the season, Vogel decided to take the cautious route with his star big man.
“We just want to be responsible with it,” Vogel said. “Going into the back-to-back, we want to advantage of our depth and be intelligent with his injury.”
Meanwhile, LeBron James, who was the only other name on the Lakers’ injury report on Friday, will be active on Sunday. Coming off of an unusually short offseason, Vogel wants to be mindful of how many minutes James plays, but for right now, his plans to preserve James don’t include him, or anyone, resting on the first or second night of back-to-back games.
“We’re going to approach each one, throughout the year, on a case-by-case basis, with the expectation that our guys will play both games unless there’s a reason otherwise,” Vogel said. “In this case, there’s a reason otherwise, with Anthony’s calf, and we’ll continue to evaluate that throughout the year.”
Davis is the only player that’s expected to be unavailable for the Lakers’ matchup with the Timberwolves on Sunday. With Davis out, someone will get a temporary promotion to the starting lineup. When Davis was injured last year, that player was Kyle Kuzma, but he could opt to go in a different direction with players like Markieff Morris and Montrezl Harrell at his disposal this season.
Personally, I think they stick with Kuzma, but we’ll find out what Vogel has in mind before tip-off, which is at 7 p.m. on NBA TV nationally and Spectrum SportsNet locally.