The Lakers’ hopes at revenge against the Celtics in their second meeting this season took a big hit as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been ruled out for Thursday’s meeting, the team announced hours prior to the game.
This will be the first time this season the Lakers will be without both LeBron and AD for a game.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN provided some insight into LeBron's and AD's status, noting that both participated in a shootaround.
James and Davis participated in shootaround Thursday with the hope of improving as the day went on, team sources told ESPN.
Davis said, “I feel a little better,” when asked about his hip after shootaround.
This is not just the team’s third game in four nights but also fourth game in six nights on the team’s Grammy road trip. There will be a day off after the team’s game in Boston before a matchup in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
Davis missed Tuesday’s game against the Hawks with what the Lakers have designated as bilateral Achilles tendinopathy and left hip spasm. The hip spasms are an injury he’s dealt with all season and aggravated in the team’s win over the Warriors.
James has also dealt with left ankle peroneal tendinopathy throughout the season. This will be the fifth game he has missed this season and the third in the last roughly three weeks.
With LeBron, Davis, Cam Reddish and Gabe Vincent all out, the Lakers will be quite notably short-handed against a Celtics team that has been one of the best in the league. In their previous meeting, Davis dominated but LeBron had one of his poorer showings of the season as Boston won handily on Christmas Day.
While anything is possible, it certainly will be a much, much steeper uphill challenge to win in Boston on Thursday. Without Davis, the Lakers struggled mightily defensively against the Hawks and without this season LeBron, the team has relied heavily on Davis. Without both, the team will require the best effort of the season from the rest of the roster to pick up what would be the biggest win of the season.
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