The Los Angeles Lakers have already had some trouble with injuries this season. Kyle Kuzma missed the first few games of the season, Rajon Rondo still remains out, and, of course, DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL before playing a single minute for the Lakers. Still, the Lakers have avoided any injury problems to their two superstars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The team will be starting their first back-to-back of the season tonight, with discussions of “load management” surrounding the Lakers and their two superstars following the controversy between the NBA and the Clippers in light of Kawhi Leonard resting a couple of games. Davis himself has already been experiencing some type of pain in his shoulder this season, evidenced in the game against the Memphis Grizzlies as well as the Lakers’ most recent game against the Toronto Raptors.
Many are wondering if the Lakers should use these early season back-to-backs as an opportunity to rest LeBron James or Davis, but especially Davis as he’s dealing with the shoulder problem. Davis addressed this, as Mark Medina of USA Today recorded him saying the following:
Anthony Davis on what he thinks of load management: “If I can play, I’m going to play.” pic.twitter.com/0jNjl5ihX2
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 11, 2019
Now, of course, the Lakers’ coaching staff and front office might oppose Davis’ thinking here, as they want to sign him to a long-term deal in the upcoming offseason, and want him healthy for the extended future as well as for the end of the season and a potential title run. Frank Vogel was also asked about the proposition of resting a healthy Davis, saying the following courtesy of Kyle Goon/Southern California News Group:
Frank Vogel said he thinks the medical team will clear Anthony Davis tomorrow, but acknowledged "it's possible" that he would rest AD this year even if he's cleared. He says the Lakers are keeping a close eye on the bigger picture.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 11, 2019
Lakers fans have to be worried about the early season shoulder problems for Davis, as this has been a previous issue for the big man while he was in New Orleans. The Lakers’ title hopes rest probably equally on Davis’ shoulders (literally) as much as they do on LeBron’s shoulders, if not more. We’ve already seen what “load management” can do for a Kawhi Leonard-led basketball team, as the Raptors executed it to perfection last season leading to a 2019 NBA Finals championship.
Stay tuned to see if Anthony Davis (or LeBron James) are potentially rested for either of these back-to-back games against the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors. Doing so would potentially help the Lakers keep Davis or LeBron fresh for a deep playoff run.