After a monster performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win on Tuesday over the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis will sit out their contest on Wednesday at the Houston Rockets, seemingly out of an abundance of caution given his right foot stress injury earlier this season.
Head coach Darvin Ham said that holding Davis out of playing both games of a back-to-back set was a predetermined decision.
Darvin Ham on AD sitting out: "He's not gonna play. He hasn't been cleared. … We made an organizational decision starting with our team doctors to hold him out of back-to-backs."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) March 15, 2023
In fact, Lakers medical personnel recently re-evaluated his injured foot and didn’t find “significant healing.”
“His right foot, which caused him to miss 20 games earlier in the season because of a stress reaction and a bone spur that fractured off the navicular bone, did not show significant healing, sources told ESPN. The doctors stuck to the same recommendation not to put Davis at risk of a setback from overexposure by participating in back-to-back games.”
The big man came out strong against New Orleans after two straight disappointing performances with a very efficient 35 points. He added 17 rebounds as Los Angeles blew past the Pelicans with ease, 123-108.
Guard Malik Beasley, who was one of the players it acquired in return for Russell Westbrook in February, was spectacular from 3-point range as he scored 24 points and went 7-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Davis initially suffered his stress injury in mid-December and sat out just over five weeks as a result. Once he returned, he had several games where he played beneath his standards, but right afterwards, he started to put up the type of numbers people have come to expect out of him over the years.
However, since his return, he has occasionally had some very anemic offensive outings, such as his eight-point effort in Friday’s win over the Toronto Raptors.
But for the season as a whole, the University of Kentucky product’s numbers stack up very well against what he has done in the past. He is averaging 26.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game while shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free-throw line. His shooting percentage and rebounding average are both career-highs.
After playing Houston on Wednesday, the Lakers will return home for their second five-game home stand of March. It will begin with a contest against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, which could mean playing against Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, depending on their injury statuses by then.
Needless to say, L.A. will need Davis healthy enough and playing at a dominant level to continue the momentum it has and make the playoffs.