Anthony Davis had been working his way back into the Lakers rotation, putting up 17.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1 SPG and 2 BPG.
Then, in a flash, he suddenly hurt himself again early in the first quarter against the Clippers, looking like he rolled his foot in an accident involving a barrier.
He was taken out of the game for good after playing only nine minutes. In the third quarter, the announcers reported that the ankle wasn’t keeping him out of the game, it was back spasms instead.
Lady Luck continues to impose her bad side on the defending champs, who saw LeBron only come back for a couple of games before leaving again due to ankle soreness. Additionally, Dennis Schroder is out potentially for the rest of the season due to health and safety protocols.
Now with Davis looking banged up again, participation in the play-in tournament looks more like destiny than a possibility for the Lakers. Today’s loss to the Clippers pushes their record down to 37-29, which is tied with the Portland Trail Blazers, who they face in the second game of a back-to-back.
With all of the injury woes, the play-ins are the last thing that the Lakers have to deal with. Instead of getting a chance to get a full week of rest like the other guaranteed seeds, LA find themselves in a position where they may have to play up to two games that week to earn one of the final two playoff berths.
Something I read in one of legendary former Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s books came back into my head after seeing Anthony Davis go down today:
“It takes a number of critical factors to win an NBA championship, including the right mix of talent, creativity, intelligence, toughness, and of course, luck. But if a team doesn’t have the most essential ingredient – love – none of those other factors matter.”
The Lakers, who were showing themselves to be the best of the Western Conference in the early part of the season, can’t be blamed if they attribute rotten luck for bringing them down this year.
It would suck for Laker fans, and to be honest, also for the rest of the NBA fans, if the Lakers miss the playoffs because of all the injuries.
They earned their title last year, and it would be a damn shame if they didn’t get a honest opportunity to defend the chip. At the moment, it looks like potentially may not have the chance to.