December 17 was an all-around bad night for the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did they get blown out by the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road, but they also lost Anthony Davis to a left knee injury.
With six minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers trailing 63-58, Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels tumbled into Davis’ left knee. The Chicago native immediately grabbed his knee and was taken out of the game.
However, that wasn’t the scene that scared Lakers fans.
Anthony Davis collapsed trying to walk to locker room
Davis attempted to limp off the court to the Lakers’ locker room, but ESPN’s broadcast cameras caught the All-Star big man collapsing to the ground in pain. It was undoubtedly a frightening sight.
“I asked him how he’s doing,” Lakers superstar LeBron James said after the game. “He said, ‘Find out more tomorrow.’ So that’s all we know. My concern is always for his health. You always wish for the best for any of your teammates but especially a guy like AD. So you wish for the best and leave it up to the man above’s hands.”
Davis will undergo an MRI on his knee in Chicago. The Lakers face the Chicago Bulls on December 19 at the United Center, and AD is expected to be out.
After losing to the Timberwolves, the Lakers dropped to 16-14 on the season. Despite having LeBron, Davis, and Russell Westbrook on the roster, they are in sixth place in the Western Conference standings and don’t look like championship contenders.
The Lakers won’t know the extent of Davis’ injury until an MRI is taken. However, even if the one-time champion didn’t suffer a season-ending injury, LA is in significant trouble.
The Lakers look like a play-in team
The Lakers were expected to be one of the best teams in the NBA after acquiring Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and pairing him with LeBron and Davis. However, LA looks like a play-in team.
Through 30 games, the Lakers are 25th in defense. While they do have a top-10 offense, it hasn’t helped them that much since they can’t stop other teams from scoring at will.
LeBron, Davis, and Westbrook are each putting up stellar numbers. However, Davis’ jumper has been terrible, and Westbrook has been a turnover machine. The former is shooting 17.9% from beyond the arc, while the latter is averaging 4.5 turnovers.
The only way the Lakers are going to turn their season around is if Davis avoids a devastating injury and starts playing like a superstar again. LeBron is still great, but he’s old and has a lot of mileage on his body. The Lakers need Davis to be their best player and LeBron and Westbrook to follow his lead, but that probably won’t happen since the Brow isn’t dependable.
Anthony Davis has always been fragile
A team can’t rely on a fragile player to lead them to the promised land, no matter how talented they are. Your best ability is your availability in sports, and Davis has always been injury-prone. The Kentucky product has never played more than 75 games in a season, and he’s already dealt with multiple lower-body injuries this season.
The Lakers are hoping Davis didn’t suffer a serious injury and that he will be back in the lineup soon. However, it’s unrealistic for the team to expect him to be their best player in the long run since he’s never shown the ability to stay healthy. Even though LeBron is still playing like a superstar despite being in Year 19, it’s impractical to expect him to carry the Lakers to the championship.
With that said, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers make any trades at the trade deadline. They probably should since the roster as constructed looks like a play-in team.