The 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers love to keep things interesting. With no LeBron James and a turnover-prone Russell Westbrook, the Lakers squeaked past the Charlotte Hornets on Monday to crawl back above .500. One big reason why is Anthony Davis, whose 32 points led both teams. But the game also highlighted Davis’ nagging issue: his propensity for anything that could ruin his chances of playing.
The Lakers zapped the Hornets in overtime
It wasn’t pretty, nor was it comfortable. But the Purple and Gold snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Hornets 126-123 in overtime.
Davis, to no one’s surprise, was the star of the game. The 28-year-old finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, five blocks, and three steals. It was another excellent game for AD, who in 11 games has averaged 23.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks.
LA also received a massive boost from Carmelo Anthony. The sharpshooting veteran has been a revelation in his first season with the team, hitting another seven threes to give him 29 points off of the bench. Westbrook also finished with a triple-double, his second of the season, to help make up for his team-high seven turnovers.
As a whole, the Lakers were hurt by all starters besides Davis. Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Kent Bazemore, and DeAndre Jordan combined to finish -59. The bench, led by Anthony and Wayne Ellington, ended at +75.
Anthony Davis battled a stomach bug
Davis’ performance against the Hornets is impressive by itself. But AD had to battle another bug during the game, one that would make most of us want to stay far away from any physical activity.
The star forward threw up four times before LA’s game on Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers, followed by one more time during the game. But that apparently wasn’t the end of it. AD then revealed he got sick during the third quarter against Charlotte, somehow finding a way to stay in the game.
“I’m just trying to find energy to go out there and compete with the guys,” Davis said to reporters after the game. “Chewables will give you energy, Gatorade, all of those little things to just get me through the game. … Hopefully I’ll feel better [in] the next couple of days. If not, we’ll do it again.”
LA’s next game will be a huge one. The Lakers are set to host the Miami Heat on Wednesday in a 2020 NBA Finals rematch. So Davis will have until then to hopefully put this behind him once and for all.
The injury bug continues to follow Anthony Davis
This time, it was a stomach bug. But on a daily basis, there seems to be one thing or another leaving Davis’ availability in doubt.
Before the stomach illness, Davis was nursing a thumb sprain, suffered during LA’s collapse against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Just before the thumb, the 28-year-old had a minor ankle injury. Before that, he suffered a knee injury in LA’s fourth game of the season.
The good news is that none of those ailments have caused AD to miss any games. The bad news, however, is how the 6-foot-10 big man is a staple on the injury report for one reason for another. And given his more-than-spotty history with staying on the court, there’s no reason to doubt that trend continuing.
As James has no clear timetable for a return, it’s more important than ever for Davis to lead the Los Angeles Lakers in the interim. Should anything more than a minor condition pop up, this team would be in a heap of trouble.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.