Stop me if you’ve heard this before …
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis was helped off the court after appearing to turn his right ankle in the second quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz. Davis jumped to retrieve a pass from Malik Monk and landed awkwardly, making contact with Utah’s Rudy Gobert. Davis will be out at least two weeks according to sources. Bad news for AD and the Lakers.
ESPN’s Jay Williams referred to AD as “Mr. Glass” on “Get Up” Thursday morning and implied what most NBA fans know to be true, this Lakers season is likely over.
“I feel horrible for AD first and foremost,” Williams said. “You see why sometimes he has the nickname ‘Mr. Glass’ hurt again. I think there’s a lot of questions around this organization, ninth right now in the Western Conference.”
If the Lakers don't make the playoffs this year, @RealJayWilliams is pointing fingers at Rob Pelinka 😳
"Rob Pelinka has lost A LOT of clout within the Lakers' organization!" pic.twitter.com/5qE7eGu8gi
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 17, 2022
TNT’s Charles Barkley calls the Lakers star Anthony “Street Clothes” Davis, and in other circles he’s said to “lead the league in trips to the locker room.”
It’s not AD’s fault he’s injured. It’s sports, things happen. However, the best predictor of future injury is previous injury and AD has been injured a lot over his 10-year career.
Since becoming a member of the Lakers, of the 201 regular season games he could’ve played, AD only played in 135. The 66 missed games is 80 percent of an 82-game regular season.
The Lakers won the championship in 2020, so the deal to acquire AD was worth it. But as the team looks beyond this season there isn’t a lot to be excited about.
At 27-31 the Lakers are ninth in the west. They are six games behind the Denver Nuggets for the last playoff spot and four games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans to remain in the play-in tournament.
The trade deadline passed without the Lakers making any moves, but the back-and-forth around that is a little overstated. What do the Lakers have of value that any other team wants? They have no draft capital and no young talent on tradeable contracts.
Following the All-Star break the Lakers have 24 games remaining. Even if AD is only out for two weeks, and that’s highly unlikely, he’ll miss games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks. Two of those teams are ahead of the Lakers in the standings, and the Pelicans could push for a play-in spot.
LeBron James will have to play more minutes at age 37. He’s currently fourth in minutes at 36.8 per game, and is dealing with an ankle issue.
“Obviously it’s sickening to see AD go down in that fashion,” James said after the game. “I hope he’s fine. Obviously, I mean, I know he’s not like, great, but obviously his health is most important for him individually, for our ballclub. I’ve seen [teammates get injured] too many times, obviously. So I just wish him the best.”
The sports analytics website currently has the Lakers projected to finish with a record of 37-45. That would be ninth in the West, in the play-in tournament with a 25 percent chance to make the playoffs.
The Pelicans and the Portland Trail Blazers are the teams behind the Lakers that could make things more interesting down the stretch.
When LeBron and the Lakers made the decision to acquire AD they hoped for championships and an extended prime. They got one, and maybe that’s all they can expect.
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