AD's Injury

This guy has to get right.

Jim Rome
February 16, 2021 - 11:30 am
Anthony Davis

USA Today

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Laker fans, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Or to put it another way, I’ve got bad news and maybe even worse news.

I’m not saying that you aren’t getting banner 18 this year and blowing past the Celtics, but I am saying it just got harder.

Ever since Anthony Davis arrived with the Lakers, this team has been a juggernaut. They weren’t supposed to win a title in year one. The Clippers were supposed to be the better team, but despite everything the Lakers had to deal with last year, AD and LeBron were an incredible combination, like a little brother-big brother act, OR A FATHER, SON ROUTINE…and they ROLLED EVERYONE UP IN ROUTE TO THEIR title.

Then, coming into this season, off short rest, the thinking was that Davis and LeBron would pace themselves and the team would get off to a slow start while they integrate new players into the roster. But they didn’t get off to a slow start. They got off to an electric start. To go to one of my horse racing analogies, they broke cleanly out of the gates, went right to the lead and we’re looking to wire the field. 

And when you saw that, you had to start thinking, holy crap, this team really is bulletproof. They are unstoppable. They endured so much, both physically and emotionally, last year and into this year, and none of it mattered. They picked up right where they left off. These dudes are Teflon. Nothing sticks to them. And like Tom Brady, LeBron somehow has figured out how to age reverse. It was alllll good. Until it wasn’t.  Until the news of AD’S injury hit. 

And I’m not talking about the most recent one. I’m talking about the fact that he missed a pair of games last week with tendinosis in his right Achilles.

I don’t know about you, but after Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kobe Bryant, whenever I hear even the mention of an Achilles injury, I get concerned. Really concerned.

But Davis came back from the tendinosis after two games to put up 35 and 9 against the Grizzlies and it appeared a scud may have been dodged.  But, then came Sunday. And this moment.

And if you’re a Laker fan, your heart had to be in your stomach at that moment. And the contents of your stomach were probably all over the floor and the wall. In other words, seeing get dinged. Again. Is not exactly the way to promote optimum gut health? 

Because that is the very thing everyone was worried about. A small Achilles thing becoming the biggest Achilles thing. Words like “rupture” and “tear” were flying around.  Never a good thing.  In fact, one of the WORST things.

Then it was just a matter of getting the MRI; and sweating it out until the results came back.  And now we have them.

The team announced yesterday: “Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis underwent an MRI today. The results showed no rupture of the right Achilles tendon. Davis will miss tomorrow’s game vs. Minnesota, and will be further evaluated by team doctors upon his return to Los Angeles.

Given how much worse that it could have been, that’s some of the best news ever, Laker fan. So you can reinstall your car flags and start planning for the parade, because the march to a repeat is back on. Just know this, when the team says mentions 2-3 weeks as a possible timeline for his return. 2-3 weeks is not the timeline for his return. I’m not doctor, but I don’t need to be one to say, this dude is not going to be back at the end of the month. And show in time for the all-star game. That’s not how they’re going to play it. Nor should they. The last thing they want to do is rush him back or bring him to soon, risk aggravating it and then not have him for the postseason. Hell I don’t care if I don’t see this guy again before the postseason. In fact, I hope I don’t. Because the last the Lakers need or want is for this to keep happening or for something even worse to happen. Give him the time he needs. And in the meantime, give Mark Gasol the time he needs: minutes so you can work him into the flow and get him better acclimated. Then when Davis does come back, the team is stronger and better than ever. 

Like Davis will be back at the end of the month, maybe the first week of March, and everything will be right again. And they started to convince themselves that this might actually be a good thing. Get Davis some rest, work Marc Gasol into the flow even more, and the Lakers will come back better than ever.

And it sounds the Lakers are approaching it that way too. So the first thing you want to do is. Get that 2-3 week timeline out of your head. Because it’s not a real thing. This dude is going to get as much time as he needs: and it’s probably going to be considerably longer than 2-3 weeks. 

Doesn’t mean they won’t repeat. Who you have and how you’re playing in February doesn’t mean a damn thing. And losing this guy, for a chunk of the season, however big it is, doesn’t mean they won’t repeat.  Depending how he comes back, they still very well could be the team to beat: it’s just that road just got tougher. Number 18 just got that much harder. Especially given how filthy the west is right. When you look at the Jazz is tearing everyone up and how the Clippers are playing, that number one seed takes on even greater importance. The question is, how important? Do you have LeBron kill himself to ensure they lock that number one seed and risk him sitting on empty by the time the playoffs finally do start? Or do you have conserve that energy so he’s fresh as a lower seed and take your chances that way. Tough questions to answer. Good news is, your season isn’t over. Bad news is, it just got tougher.