Lakers Insider Offers Unsettling Update on Anthony Davis’ Injury

Anthony Davis, Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the 8th seed in the Western Conference, but their come up may have come at a significant cost.

Star big man Anthony Davis left the team’s final regular season game against the New Orleans Pelicans with a little more than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on Sunday, April 14. He walked slowly and cautiously to the scorer’s table after calling for a substitution.

Davis was grimacing during a conversation with LeBron James, as he lowered himself toward the floor, the evidence of which is clear in a video of the incident as posted to social media via the Hoop Central X account.

Approximately 15 minutes later, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin offered an update to Davis’ injury status.

“The initial belief is Anthony Davis experienced hip and back spasms after being pushed in the air by Larry Nance Jr. and landing awkwardly, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN,” McMenamin reported.

Lakers Enter Play-In Tournament With 2 Chances to Earn Playoff Berth

Lakers star Anthony Davis

GettyLos Angeles Lakers star big man Anthony Davis.

The news is highly unfavorable for Los Angeles, as the team will turn around and face the Pelicans in New Orleans again on Tuesday in the first game of the NBA’s Play-In Tournament to decide the who will be the 7th seed in the West.

The winner will earn that spot and square off against the Denver Nuggets (No. 2 seed) in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will face the winner of a contest between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors in the final play-in game for the 8th seed on Friday. The squad that wins that contest will square off against the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs.

Davis was huge in L.A.’s 16-point win over the Pels, both literally and figuratively, as he dropped 30 points on top of 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 33 minutes played. The victory was equally as large, as it kept the Lakers out of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchup, the loser of which will be eliminated from playoff contention.

The performance from Davis and the rest of his teammates Sunday — against a team in New Orleans that was playing for the No. 6 seed and the right to avoid the Play-In Tournament altogether, no less — buys the Lakers two chances at playoff life. However, it will be difficult to claim that reward if Davis is unable to suit up Tuesday and/or Friday, should L.A. fall in the tournament’s opening contest.

Anthony Davis’ Injury Could Leave LeBron James With Burden of Carrying Lakers to Playoffs

LeBron James

GettyLos Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

Should that prove the case, the Lakers’ fortunes will fall to the 39-year-old James, who produced a vintage performance of his own in the team’s victory in New Orleans Sunday.

James finished the day with a 28-point triple-double, adding 17 assists, 11 rebounds, 5 steals and a block on the afternoon. Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell contributed 20 points and 19 points, respectively, and will presumably need to come up big again in the Play-In Tournament if the Lakers hope to reach their goal.

In actuality, losing to the Pelicans in the opening game and claiming victory against either the Kings or Warriors in the final play-in contest in the West is probably the best outcome for the Lakers. Los Angeles lost to Denver all three times the teams matched up during the regular season, after the Nuggets swept the Lakers out of the Western Conference Finals last playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Lakers went 3-1 against the Thunder this year and created matchup problems for Oklahoma City given their size, particularly in the case of Davis. That said, Los Angeles is certain to play to win against the Pelicans on Tuesday, with or without Davis, as losing the game would put the team one loss away from the end of its season.

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