Heading into the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Mavericks, there was some question whether star big man Anthony Davis would suit up. He had powered through a contusion on his right calf in the opener against the Clippers and did so again in the follow-up against Dallas—a game in which Davis had 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists, making 10 of his 16 field-goal attempts.
But for the upcoming game against the Timberwolves, it is clear Davis is still bothered by the injury. On the Lakers’ injury report, Davis is listed as “questionable” for Sunday.
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The injury is not serious, though Lakers will recall the contusion that caused high anxiety among the team’s fans in the NBA Finals, when Davis writhed on the floor for a while during Game 5, clutching his lower right leg. That, too, was a contusion (essentially, a bruise), to his ankle and heel, an injury he originally suffered in the previous round against Denver.
He also suffered a right calf contusion in February, but played through it, and had a contusion on his derriere in January.
Lakers Have First of Five Back-To-Back Games Starting Sunday
The Lakers could look to give Davis a day off against the Timberwolves, even if he able to play. In the early part of the season, the Lakers are expected to find ways to give days off to stars Davis and LeBron James, who played heavy minutes all through last postseason and are working with only 72 days between the end of the NBA Finals and the start of this season.
After Friday’s win against Dallas, the Lakers had Saturday off but play on Sunday and then face the Trail Blazers on Monday. That marks the first back-to-back of the season for L.A. and given the fact that the Timberwolves are not expected to be a playoff team this year, a night off for Davis to rest the calf might be a good idea.
The Lakers have five back-to-backs in the first half of the season, which has been scheduled through March 3. The NBA will schedule the remainder of the season at a later date.
Anthony Davis Launched 5 3-Pointers on Friday
Davis did make a notable change in his approach in the Dallas game, working more on his 3-point shot. He took an average of 3.5 3-point attmepts last season, and the coaching staff has been imploring him to shoot the 3 more. In the final game of the preseason, Davis made 6-of-7 shots from the arc against Phoenix.
After the game, Davis told Spectrum Sports, “Just trying to get back into a rhythm, find my game. Coach wants me to shoot more 3s and why not get used to it in the preseason and get the shots up? So, that’s all it was. Just trying to find a rhythm and be confident in my shot and be confident in my game and work on my game in the preseason games before we get started.”
He was 0-for-2 shooting from the 3-point line in the opener, but came back to shoot 3-for-5 from the arc against Dallas.