The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 0-4 with a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday but a larger concern came when Anthony Davis went down with an injury scare in the second half.
The Lakers’ faithful holds their collective breath every time Davis goes down — which has become an all-too-common occurrence. The eight-time All-Star has been dealing with a back issue to start the year and appeared to aggravate the injury when going up for a rebound.
Davis gutted through the injury although it did seem to have some effect on his movement. He played 36 minutes in the 110-99 loss, registering 22 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a pair of blocks. While the stat line is impressive, he shot just one free throw, a clear sign that he wasn’t being aggressive getting to the hoop.
Davis spoke on the injury following the loss and doesn’t see himself missing any time.
“It feels good. I got hit in the back and it irritated it again. But I’ll be fine,” Davis said. “I just have to keep it loose. I’m going to get irritated but when I’m on the floor, I’m trying to focus on playing — not worrying about it.”
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham admitted there was a bit of uneasiness following Davis going down but isn’t too concerned about his availability.
“He’s fine. He’s fine,” Ham said. “He wouldn’t have been able to finish the game — getting that shot in the back, we were all a little nervous at that point in time but he was able to get through the game and give us a lot of good production. But he’s fine.”
Davis Faces Tough Assignment Against Timberwolves
Davis gets a tough matchup when the Lakers take the court next against the Timberwolves, who will trot out big men Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns. Much of the concern about AD playing more center has been his health and he’ll have his hands full against Minnesota.
“They do have a unique team with Towns and Gobert,” Davis said. “I don’t know the matchups on their side but no matter what, I’ll be ready to go. We have to focus on us.”
Against the Nuggets, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic pretty much had his way. He notched a game-high 31-points with 13 rebounds and 9 assists. Jokic also had four steals.
The Lakers have shot the ball miserably through four games but have hung their hat on their defense. But even that was not impressive against the Nuggets.
“We gave up a lot of points in transition. We were much better on the defensive end than it showed tonight,” Davis said. “We were not doing what we were supposed to do defensively.”
Lakers Focused on Getting First Win
The Lakers are clearly in a tough spot with the losses piling up and their play looking disjointed. Davis doesn’t see an easy fix but thinks things will open up for his squad after getting the first one.
“Not really about any other team right now, scouts or schemes — just going out there and doing it for 48 minutes to get a win,” Davis said. “Whatever we’ve got to do. That’s the first step. We can build on that.”
The Lakers played without Russell Westbrook against the Nuggets, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. His status for Friday’s matchup with the Timberwolves is still uncertain but he has traveled with the team.