The Lakers released an updated injury report on Tuesday morning before their matchup against the New York Knicks later this evening, and it made one thing clear: This game could get really, really ugly.
Not only is LeBron James (one-game suspension) OUT, but rookie guard Austin Reaves has been downgraded to back to OUT — he was previously upgraded to DOUBTFUL, and Frank Vogel says he would be playing if it was up to him — as he misses a second week with a hamstring strain. Adding illness to injury is that Anthony Davis is now QUESTIONABLE to play with what the team says are non-COVID-related flu-like symptoms.
All of that is on top of Trevor Ariza (right ankle injury recovery) Kendrick Nunn (right knee bone bruise) continuing to be out with no definitive timelines for their return, and the Lakers’ two-way players Jay Huff and Chaundee Brown Jr. back in Los Angeles on assignment in the G League, and thus unable to fill in for the parent squad.
In short, the Lakers are back to being a group of barely walking wounded, and this game could get really, really ugly if Davis can’t suit up.
If Davis is out tonight, the Lakers would have just 10 eligible players for this game, with Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker the only healthy ones making more than the veteran’s minimum. And without Davis, the Lakers would be down to just three players (Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony) taller than 6’4.
Davis very well may play — he played through a nasty stomach bug that left him vomiting between stoppages in play just a few weeks ago — but if he doesn’t, this game has the potential to give the team’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers a run for its money in terms of sheer ugliness. We’ll see if he can ultimately give it a go closer to the team’s 4:30 p.m. PT start against New York.
But if he can’t... buckle up. This could get bad.