Because of his lengthy injury history, every wince and tough fall to the ground from Anthony Davis leads to moments of bated breath from Lakers fans throughout the regular season. Predictably, then, when AD hobbled to midcourt in the second half of Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets before hunching over in pain, the worst was feared.
AD, though, gutted through his lower back injury, playing 37 minutes in the team’s loss to Denver, 110-99. While his effectiveness was limited, he still finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.
Following the game, head coach Darvin Ham noted that AD would be alright moving forward and highlighted the fact he did finish the game as evidence.
“He’s fine. He’s fine,” Ham said. “He wouldn’t have been able to finish the game — getting that shot in the back, we were all a little nervous at that point in time but he was able to get through the game and give us a lot of good production. But he’s fine.”
AD entered the game as probable with lower back soreness and he missed a pair of preseason games with the same injury, so it’s not a new ailment that has popped up. That doesn’t make it any better, though, as back injuries are often tricky ones that persist for a long time and can pop up seemingly whenever.
Considering the state of the Lakers and their roster, the reliance on LeBron and AD to both be healthy and play at absurdly high levels is high. Even with the two of them healthy and putting forth generally strong efforts, the Lakers are winless in their first four games.
If either one of them were to miss time, the team simply does not have suitable role players behind them to account for their absence. It’s not a great position for the Lakers to be in, especially with a player like AD who is bound to miss time, but Ham’s hand is effectively forced in this one.
The Lakers will play in Minnesota on Friday before returning home to play Denver on Sunday. They will then have only two games next week, which could afford AD some built-in rest as well.
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