Fresh off a big victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, the Lakers will be without big man Anthony Davis for Wednesday. As has been the case all season, AD will not play on the second night of a back-to-back, this time against the Rockets.
Darvin Ham confirmed all of this after the game on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis will not play tomorrow in Houston, according to Darvin Ham. There was an organizational decision to keep him out of back-to-backs, even though Ham stressed that Davis remains pain free playing on the foot that kept him out of 20 games earlier this season.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 15, 2023
The entire season, the Lakers have not played Davis on the second night of a back-to-back with no exceptions. Most notably, the team played him in a loss in Memphis before sitting him in a pivotal game against the Thunder just two weeks ago. Still in the midst of that same tight playoff race, the Lakers are sticking true to their long-term plan.
Davis himself expressed the frustration of not being allowed to play after the game on Tuesday, even if he also understands why he isn’t being allowed to.
Anthony Davis admits “it’s tough” to not be cleared for B2Bs like Houston tomorrow. Even though it feels pain-free, his stress reaction an active injury. “You want to go out and play but at the end of the day with an injury like that, you don’t want it to go to the other side.” pic.twitter.com/cilfWgQdWo— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) March 15, 2023
On one hand, the Lakers have clearly laid out a plan they’re sticking to no matter what by resting Davis. Their mindset has been on the long-term future with regards to Davis’ health, and they aren’t budging from that.
On the other hand, they’ve known their approach to Davis for some time now and have chosen not to sign a center, despite having an open roster spot and the ability to sign someone to a 10-day contract.
With Mo Bamba injured, the Lakers are quite undersized. Wenyen Gabriel is the only center on the roster and even he’s barely a center. Just as it was poor planning when the Lakers played Davis against Memphis and sat him against OKC, a game that had far greater implications on their playoff race, it’s poor playing to not have signed at least somebody ahead of this game as insurance.
There’s still the possibility they could before the game, but it just breaks of poor foresight from the franchise and a completely avoidable situation, especially in a playoff race they can’t afford a misstep.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.