Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel announced Sunday that Anthony Davis will not play against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to a calf contusion. It appears to be a minor injury that the team is being cautious with and allowing the big man to rest for the first game of a back-to-back. According to Vogel, Davis first suffered the injury on opening night and reaggravated it against the Mavericks on Christmas.
The Lakers play the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday and LeBron James is expected to play both games, according to Vogel. The Lakers’ head coach told the media that he does not have a set plan to rest his stars during back-to-back sets and instead the team will evaluate that decision on a case-by-case basis.
Vogel has yet to announce who will take Davis’ spot in the starting lineup against the Wolves. Montrezl Harrell could get a start after two strong games to start his Lakers career. Perhaps more likely is Markieff Morris sliding in alongside Marc Gasol in the Lakers’ frontcourt to allow Harrell to continue his role as the energy big off the bench. Alternatively, Kyle Kuzma could get the starting nod, moving LeBron James to the nominal power forward position.
Davis’ absence may be noticeably felt against Karl-Anthony Towns who is expected to play despite a wrist injury. The Wolves also have dangerous pick-and-roll playing guards in Ricky Rubio, D’Angelo Russell, and Malik Beasley, giving the Lakers’ a good defensive test without their main anchor.