Team LeBron of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game could be short a big man on Sunday night against Team Giannis. But Anthony Davis is doing his all to make sure that’s not the case as he pushes to be on the floor with his All-Star game teammates. While the New Orleans Pelicans star suffered a shoulder injury just prior to the break, his status for the game was immediately up in the air. But after the setback occurred, Davis made his intentions to play in the game known.
Barring some type of late change, he told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps that he was expecting to play with LeBron James in Sunday’s game.
This doesn’t mean much for his shoulder injury, especially considering Davis actually left the arena during the Pelicans’ game after the incident. After the game, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon revealed a report from Ramona Shelburne that his injury was a muscle contusion but “nothing too bad.”
Assuming Davis has the same intentions as what was stated during All-Star Media Day, then he should be out on the floor Sunday night. But if not, there are rumblings that fan-favorite rookie Luka Doncic could get the nod.
Luka Doncic Likely Replacement if Anthony Davis Out?
In what would be a well-deserved tip of the cap to Doncic, it seems the Dallas Mavericks guard heard the rumblings that he’d replace Davis. Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported the quote from Doncic, who stated that he “couldn’t sleep” after hearing he may take the spot of Davis on Team LeBron.
It’s hard to argue that Doncic wouldn’t be deserving of a spot in the game, and many considered him to be one of the biggest snubs. Through the first 55 games of his rookie season, the 19-year-old has averaged 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. He’s consistently improved his play as well, averaging 22.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists in January and marks of 23.5/9.2/7.0 over six games in February.
Luka Doncic’s Performance in Rising Stars Challenge
Although Doncic was unable to help Team World knock off Team USA during the 161-144 loss Friday night, he had a solid showing. The Mavericks guard tallied 13 points with nine assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 24 minutes. His shot from beyond the arc didn’t catch fire, keeping him from having an even bigger game, as he finished 3-of-9 from deep while also shooting 5-of-12 from the field.
Kyle Kuzma of Team USA took home the Most Valuable Player honors after he poured in 35 points with six rebounds and two assists in just 22 minutes. Kuzma shot 15-of-27 and just behind him in scoring was teammate Jayson Tatum (30 points) and Team World’s Ben Simmons (28 points).