As big as the win as the Lakers had on Tuesday — particularly emotionally — against the Pelicans, the momentum was pretty immediately halted on Wednesday with a loss to one of the league’s worst teams in the Rockets.
It didn’t directly hurt the Lakers in the standings, or at least it didn’t have as much of an impact as Tuesday’s win did. But it was still frustrating and one that felt avoidable.
Most notably, Anthony Davis did not play in the contest as he continues to sit out the second night of back-to-backs as he manages the stress injury in his foot that already caused him to miss a significant amount of time this season. It was a frustrating decision for both him and fans and led to a number of questions.
For one, why didn’t the Lakers sign anyone on a 10-day contract or use their final roster spot to have a center on the roster? That’s a question that can’t be answered by Darvin Ham.
The other question raised had to do with the Lakers performance on Tuesday and how they were forced to hang on late after being up 40 points. Some wondered if the team had hung onto that 40-point lead, perhaps AD could have sat much of the second half and played on Wednesday?
We do have an answer to that one.
To answer Flea's and a lot of your questions, did check last night and learned AD's status for today was not contingent on his minute count yesterday. Just has been advised not to play back-to-back nights. https://t.co/y7BpAyBS2Z— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) March 16, 2023
Ultimately, it’s an annoying situation with Davis, but one you can’t really point the finger at anyone. The Lakers are playing it smart and not putting undue stress on him that could completely ruin their playoff chances if he does get reinjured. It’s not fun, but it is the smart move.
The finger should be pointed at the front office for not signing someone to play in AD’s spot, particularly if they knew he was going to be sitting on Wednesday regardless. It was an own goal by the Lakers at a time period when they can’t afford to have unforced errors.
Now, eyes can start to turn to April 4 and 5 when the Lakers have another back-to-back. Mo Bamba likely won’t be available then and LeBron James likely won’t be back. The Lakers are likely going to be in the same situation, just against a team in the Jazz that actually will have an impact on the playoff race.
Are they going to learn from their mistakes or cost the team another win?
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.