The Los Angeles Lakers’ anti-climactic exit in the first round to the Phoenix Suns can be attributed to one person: Anthony Davis. The former Pelicans star was injured in Game 4 of their first-round matchup, which didn’t help the team’s chances of making it deep in the playoffs. As a result, the Suns pounced on them and eliminated them quite easily.

When asked about that Lakers-Suns series, Anthony Davis implied that his injury was the only reason that the Suns won. That’s a bold take that is sure to infuriate the Phoenix fanbase and players. (via Dave McMenamin)

“Anthony Davis, asked if his groin injury is the main reason the Lakers didn’t beat the Suns in the playoffs last year, says: ‘It was … We know that. They know that … They got away with one'”

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Injuries are an unfortunate part of playoff basketball. We can’t say for certain whether Anthony Davis’ presence would’ve been enough to get the Lakers over the Suns. LeBron James was also dealing with an injury that series, along with a bunch of other players. Then again, Chris Paul did admit that he played through a shoulder injury in that series…

Nonetheless, that’s in the past. The best way for Davis and the Lakers to prove this statement is to get all the way to the Finals themselves. Based on how they’ve been playing (and AD’s own availability), it’s looking more and more unlikely that they’ll go deep in the post-season. They could even miss the play-in tournament!

There’s still plenty of time for them to secure a solid spot in the playoffs. However, the Lakers will absolutely need Anthony Davis back for them to be a legitimate contender. Luckily for them, AD’s return could come soon.