The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Monday morning that Anthony Davis will miss (at least) one game with the right Achilles tendinosis they revealed he was dealing with on Sunday night. Our own Dr. Brar outlined what the treatment will likely look like for Davis’ latest diagnosis, but head coach Frank Vogel said the absence was just the team being careful when speaking to reporters before his team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“AD has some soreness in the Achilles area. It’s nothing to be really concerned about, but just wanted to be precautionary with holding him out tonight,” Vogel said.
Vogel said that Alex Caruso would also sit out after jamming two of his fingers in the team’s win against the Detroit Pistons, but said that absence was also mostly in the interest of caution after Caruso had some swelling on Monday morning.
Vogel said the the Lakers haven’t discussed sitting Davis for multiple nights or not, only saying that Davis had wanted to play on Monday but the team wanted to be careful with him.
“They just wanted to be precautious with this injury,” Vogel said. “As of right now he’s going to miss tonight and hopefully he feels better tomorrow, and is ready to go on Wednesday.”
That said, if the Lakers want to sit Davis for a few games, now might be the best time to do it. After their matchup with the lottery-bound Thunder (10-12) on Monday night, they will host them at Staples Center again on Wednesday before the also-bad Memphis Grizzlies (9-9) visit on Friday. The Lakers will then travel to play the Denver Nuggets (12-10) on Valentine’s Day before facing the Timberwolves (6-17) in Minnesota, so other than Denver, this is a pretty weak stretch of the schedule for the next week or so that the Lakers could really afford to sit Davis for. Especially given that all things being equal, they’ll probably want him when the new-look Brooklyn Nets (14-11) come to town on Feb. 18 when the Lakers return from their old digs in Minneapolis.
But aside from the schedule, there is also the small matter that the regular season shouldn’t really matter for the Lakers, and especially not at the potential cost of Davis’ health when he’s dealing with something as important as an Achilles tendon. We all saw that Davis can be arguably the best player in the NBA when games matter most during the last playoff run, and him being healthy enough to activate that gear is far more important than the Lakers’ regular season record. That goes doubly so during a year that the team is publicly admitting they’re treating games like glorified practices anyway.
And if you do care about their record, the Lakers are currently 18-6, and like five games ahead of the bottom half of the playoff bracket in the Western Conference anyway. They’re going to be all right, even if one of their stars has to rest for a bit, especially since homecourt advantage is unlikely to matter much during a pandemic anyway (and given that the arena of their biggest competitors in the West — the Clippers — would likely be filled with Lakers fans even if people were let in).
So yeah, if Davis needs to rest for a bit, that’s obviously a far better outcome than him injuring himself further. We’ll see how he progresses in his recovery, but the Lakers should take things as slow and steady as he needs. The long game is far more important.