There may be more bad news coming for the Los Angeles Lakers as LeBron James does not expect Anthony Davis to suit up for Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns. After the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Suns in Game 5, James admitted he is mentally preparing to be without his superstar teammate in the team’s elimination matchup.
“My mindset is that he’s not going to be able to play in Game 6, but that’s my mindset,” James noted in his postgame press conference. “I have to go in with that to prepare [for] who’s going to be in the lineup. KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] tried to give it a go tonight, too, and it didn’t work out well for him, as well. He had to leave the game as well. My mindset, for me, is as if A.D. won’t be in the game in Game 6. If something changes, then we go from there, but I’m preparing as if he’s not.”
James clarified that he is referring to his “mindset” heading into Game 6 rather than making a medical assessment of Davis’ status. Regardless, it is not a good sign given James is close to Davis, but the Lakers star is likely envisioning a worst-case scenario in the event the big man is once again sidelined. Davis has dealt with groin and knee injuries in the first-round series.
A.D. Was a Gametime Decision in Game 5, But Was Not Cleared to Play
It appeared Davis was close to playing in Game 5 as the big man was listed as questionable with the groin injury making him a game-time decision. Davis was seen working out during pre-game warmups but ultimately was not cleared to play.
TNT’s Chris Haynes reported prior to tipoff that Davis was still struggling to move laterally. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained prior to Game 5 that Davis’ status will be a “medical decision” regardless of what is at stake in the postseason.
“If they feel he’s at risk for injuring it further, then obviously they won’t clear him to be out there,” Vogel said, per Silver Screen and Roll. “But if they feel like he’s just playing through some pain, and he’s not at any further risk than any other player, then he’ll be cleared. It’s going to be a medical decision.”
Vogel on Davis’ Status: ‘I Don’t Know Exactly How Close He Was’
After the Lakers’ disappointing Game 5 loss, Vogel declined to elaborate on how close Davis was to playing in the matchup. Without mentioning Davis by name, Vogel noted the Lakers hope “to get a little more healthy” heading into Game 6.
“We got a good team,” Vogel said in his postgame press conference when asked about Davis’ status. “We got to do the best we can over the next 48 hours to get a little more healthy. Really working with our treatments to get some of our guys back and remain confident in the depth that we have. You know, we built a deep team to withstand some of the injuries, and we got to take care of our homecourt. As far as Anthony’s concerned, he went out and moved around. I don’t know exactly how close he was [to playing in Game 5], but he wasn’t able to go.”