Anthony Davis has been on the Lakers injury report for the majority of this season so far with a wide range of bumps and bruises. The latest is what the team has only described as “lower back tightness” that left him listed as “questionable” for the team’s Friday matchup with his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans, but head coach Frank Vogel said this morning that Davis will play.
Vogel adds that Davis has had nagging injuries that the team has had to report — explaining why he’s constantly on the team’s injury report — but it’s nothing serious.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 15, 2021
As Vogel points out, the Lakers listing Davis on the injury report isn’t necessarily just because of his propensity for getting banged up, even if it can appear that way from the outside. Like we explained here when Vogel talked earlier this season about LeBron James’ frequent appearances on the report the Lakers are mandated to submit to the league before every game, there are other reasons both stars are getting listed with injuries so often:
The NBA has begun to crack down on teams’ inconsistent injury reporting over the last few years, culminating in the league fining then-Clippers head coach Doc Rivers $50,000 for saying that Kawhi Leonard “feels great” while the team listed him on the injury report.
Since then, teams around the league have been a lot more consistent on making sure that their injury reporting is thorough, transparent and consistent. The Lakers listing James with this also allows them to more easily sit him for pseudo load management in the future, because they can document that he’s been dealing with an injury and that’s why he’s sitting out, rather than the rest just being an out-of-the-blue thing.
So all of this makes sense, even if it can make Davis or James appear more injury prone than they actually are. Expect to keep seeing their names on these injury reports as a result, regardless of if they miss a ton of games or not.