The constant concern about Anthony Davis’ health led many fans to have a small panic attack on Wednesday afternoon when he was unexpectedly listed as out for the team’s game against the Thunder. For many reasons, the Lakers needed AD for the contest, perhaps none more important than the simple lack of talent available with both LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell out.
The good news long-term is that this isn’t a new injury for Davis and that it was simply a “precautionary” measure according to head coach Darvin Ham before Wednesday’s game, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“He’s frustrated as hell,” Ham said of Davis’ handling of the franchise’s decision to hold him out. “He wants to be out there, but he also understands the process of us managing his foot the right way. ... It’s just something we’re monitoring that we want to be extra careful and cautious about.”
Effectively, that’s a lot of words to say it’s load management. According to Ham, it was a rest that was scheduled weeks ago and they stuck to that plan regardless of the situation with the team changing.
So, like, load management.
Davis has not played a back-to-back this season, even prior to his stress injury. So, in defense of the Lakers, there was basically zero chance they were going to play him on Wednesday. Stress-related injuries like the one Davis suffered are no joke and he should be rested in back-to-backs for the remainder of this season at the very least.
Now, having said all that, there was probably a better way to handle this situation. While resting him on a back-to-back makes sense, it doesn’t have to be on the second night.
It could have been a more calculated decision to rest him against the Grizzlies, a game that was always a longshot to win. Then, he could have played in a more winnable and more important game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The fact he needs to rest and not risk further injury makes sense. But it was a wholly mismanaged situation that could cost them in a razor-thin playoff race.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.