Barring a last-minute setback, Los Angeles Lakers should have Anthony Davis back in the lineup for their matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
AD will reportedly be on a 20-24 minute restriction as he’s eased back into action, per ESPN. Following the Spurs clash, the Lakers will embark on a challenging five-game road trip against mostly playoff teams, beginning with a nationally-televised showcase vs. the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
Davis has missed the past 20 games since suffering a navicular/bone spur/stress injury (it’s complicated) in his right foot in the first half of a win over the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 16. The Lakers (22-26) have scrapped their way to a .500 record in AD’s nearly six-week absence, which has surprisingly kept them afloat in a muddled Western Conference.
LeBron James downplayed the Lakers’ water-treading sans AD.
“I didn’t expect anything besides just go out and compete,” said LeBron. “It wasn’t like, ‘OK, AD’s out, what can we do?’ You just go out and play the game and see what happens.”
Davis was playing MVP-caliber basketball before getting hurt. He had been averaging 27.4 points on 59.4% shooting, 12.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.1 blocks and offering his typical all-world defense.
In his absence, the Lakers primarily relied on Thomas Bryant as their main center. Bryant started all 20 games since AD went down, averaging 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds (entering Wednesday), though his defensive shortcomings have plagued Los Angeles at times.
Another big man, Rui Hachimura — whom the Lakers acquired on Monday — is set to make his Lakers debut against San Antonio, Darvin Ham confirmed after the Lakers’ 133-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Key wings Austin Reaves (hamstring) and Lonnie Walker IV (knee tendinitis) will be re-evaluated in the coming days and could return to the rotation sooner rather than later.