Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis exited Game 4 of the team’s first-round series against the Phoenix Suns due to a left groin strain. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5, but there is optimism that he avoided a serious injury.
Anthony Davis Knee Injury
Davis was questionable heading into the game as it was, as he suffered a terrible knee injury after colliding with Jae Crowder in Game 3.
However, Davis flat out refused to sit, as he knows the Lakers need him as they hope to defend their title.
“I thought he was laboring a little bit, even before the groin injury,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said. “He was saying that his knee was sore, but there was no way that he was not going to play. I thought he gave a heck of a run at it, trying to compete through pain.”
Davis has had a down year to his standards, as he missed 30 games in the regular season and averaged significantly fewer points while shooting considerably worse from three in comparison to last season.
However, Davis proved that his contributions can still make a huge difference in a game, as he put up 34 points in both of the Lakers’ wins thus far in the series.
Davis is still a threat to drive to the rim, run the pick-and-roll with LeBron James and make defenses pay if they don’t at least respect him behind the arc or in the mid-range.
Defensively, Davis can protect the rim and switch 1-5 as well, as he has garnered several All-Defensive team awards throughout his career. Davis has also earned consideration for several Defensive Player of the Year Awards, as he came second to Giannis Antetokounmpo just last season.
Lakers Without Davis
The Suns have proven they belong as the second seed in the Western Conference, as the combination of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton has given the Lakers’ defense plenty of headaches and Chris Paul has managed to have a major impact on games despite dealing with a shoulder injury.
If the Lakers want to beat the Suns and eventually reach the NBA Finals this season, they’re going to need Davis to get healthy in the next few days, as the load LeBron will have to carry will just be too much to try and get past this Suns’ team.
If Davis is unable to go for multiple games, then it will be up to Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris to step up at the power forward position and help fill the void of Davis’s presence on both sides of the floor.
Andre Drummond, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol will all need to step in as well at the center position and make the most of their touches inside the paint and really do their best to limit Ayton on defense.
LeBron has proven time and time again that he can carry lesser talented teams very far, but they’re going to have to earn it against the Suns.
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