James’ absence is simply an opportunity to rest the veteran, while Davis continues to rehabilitate the thumb injury he suffered Saturday in China.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 14, 2019
The Lakers did get some good news regarding Davis’ injury on Monday, with the MRI he underwent coming back clean. The early diagnosis of a probable Grade 1 sprain means that it’s possible that Davis will be ready for the Oct. 22 opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the team figures to be extra cautious in order to avoid the prospect of Davis quickly re-injuring the thumb.
James’ own injury issues from last year make his presence in a meaningless game a pointless risk that the Lakers are choosing not to take. In addition, getting the night off presumably allows the 34-year-old James to avoid having deal with the inevitable jet lag stemming from the Lakers’ lengthy trip home from China.
The game against the Warriors is the second of four preseason contests against the Lakers’ Pacific Division rivals. In their first meeting on Oct. 5, which marked the inaugural game at the new Chase Center, the Lakers won 123-101. Davis contributed a team-high 22 points, while James dished out eight assists to lead in that category.