For the second straight season, the Los Angeles Lakersplayoff hopes hinge on the play-in tournament. Last year they won their opening round play-in game to secure the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. This season, they’re hoping to do the same. And the Lakers apparently won’t have to worry about a potential Anthony Davis injury, as per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

“There’s no doubt I’m gonna play (on Tuesday),” Davis said.

Anthony Davis suffered the injury during the Lakers' final regular season game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Late in the fourth quarter, Davis took a hit in the back from Larry Nance Jr. and exited the game due to back spams. But after the game, there was no real concern that he was in danger of missing the Lakers opening play-in game.

The play-in matchup will be a repeat of Sunday’s game with the Pelicans as the No. 7 seed and the Lakers and the No. 8 seed. The winner of the matchup will secure the seventh seed in the Western Conference standings and a first round playoff matchup against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Last season, the Lakers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament to grab the seventh seed. They beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round and the Golden State Warriors in the second round before being swept in the conference finals by the Nuggets.

Anthony Davis is critical to the Lakers hopes of a playoff run

For the Lakers to make a similar run through the West this season, they’re going to need Anthony Davis. Davis has arguably become the Lakers most consistent and most important player. Few teams in the league have the size and talent to matchup with him in the frontcourt.

One of the key questions about Davis the past few seasons has been his health, but the Lakers big man has managed to stay healthy this season. Davis played in 75 games this year, the most number of games he’s played since the 2017-18 season when he was still a member of the Pelicans.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the second half at Smoothie King Center.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Davis was selected to his ninth career All-Star appearance after missing out on the NBA’s midseason showcase for the past two seasons. Davis should also be in the running for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.

This season, Davis played a little over 35 minutes per game while averaging 24.6 points per game, 12.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocked shots with splits of 55.3 percent shooting from the field, 27.4 percent shooting from the three point line and 81.4 percent shooting from the free throw line.

During last season’s playoff run, Davis put up 22.6 points per game, 14.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 3.1 blocked shots with splits of 52 percent shooting from the field, 33.3 percent shooting from the three point line and 85.2 percent shooting from the free throw line. He led the playoffs in both rebounding and blocked shots.

Should the Lakers beat the Pelicans on Tuesday in the play-in game, they’ll get an early rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals against the Nuggets.