After an ugly second quarter against the Nets in their final preseason game in China, news got worse for Laker fans as Anthony Davis was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a thumb injury. Davis struggled from the field early, going just 2-7 from the field.
While he did have a strong defensive showing, the promise of his solid play on that end was greatly outweighed by the fact he wasn’t able to check back into the game due to the injury. We’re going to breakdown the latest on what we know relating to the Lakers star’s status.
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Anthony Davis Injury Update: Lakers’ Star Leaves Preseason Game
For as strong as his defensive effort was, it seems Davis may have actually injured himself on one of his two blocks. Diagnosed with a sprained thumb, the timeline for Davis’ healthy return is somewhat unknown at this point. Given that it is a sprain, recovery times can vary dramatically. Especially considering that a hand injury has the potential to seriously impact his play, the Lakers would be wise to avoid rushing their newest superstar back into the fold.
Things wouldn’t get much better with Davis off the court as Vogel decided to rest LeBron James as well. Vogel has made it a priority to get the two superstars on the court as much as possible together and seeing Davis go down may have helped Vogel’s decision to only play LeBron for 12 minutes. Coming off an injury of his own last season, the Lakers are trying to keep a close eye on James and his health as he enters his 17th season in the NBA.
Especially in a loaded Western Conference, the Lakers will need both Davis and James healthy if they want to have a shot to realistically compete for not only a title, but clinch a playoff birth.
Lakers’ Eventful China Trip Coming to an End
To say the Lakers’ China trip was eventful may be an understatement. After Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey fired off a tweet standing in support with Democratic protesters in Hong Kong, the Chinese government responded with a heavy-handed reaction, essentially cutting ties with the Rockets organization. The Rockets had previously been unofficially known as “China’s team” largely due to the fact that Chinese superstar and basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming played his entire career in Houston.
While the NBA initially tried to tiptoe around the situation, commissioner Adam Silver eventually came out and supported Morey’s right to voice his opinion. This prompted an even bigger reaction from the Chinese government who issued a major public denouncement of his statement before taking some more actionable steps against the league.
Given that the Lakers happened to be heading to China for their preseason games against the Nets, they caught the bulk of the fallout. Billboards promoting the games were pulled down off the streets while the Chinese National Broadcast decided to not air the games altogether. Heaps of the NBA’s sponsors pulled out and the game was awkwardly played on a sponsor-less court both in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
It would seem the NBA has a significant amount of work to do to repair their relationship with China, who make up arguably the biggest growing market for the NBA.