On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their seven game win streak, losing to the Denver Nuggets 105-122. The first half of the game was a close game with the two teams battling for the lead. In the second half, the Nuggets held onto their double digit lead. There were a few factors that contributed to the loss, but one major issue was Anthony Davis leaving the game right before the end of the first half.
Anthony Davis’ calf strain injury will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks 🙏🙏
— The Laker Files (@LakerFiles) February 15, 2021
Davis appeared to re-injure his Achilles tendon during the game. Davis did not play in the second half and Davis had an MRI on Monday to determine the damage. The MRI revealed that the injury is a calf strain and Davis is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks.
What does this mean for the Lakers?
With Davis out for almost a month, the Lakers have nine games left of the released NBA schedule. Most likely, Davis will not be back for any of these games. This means that the Lakers will be without their second leading scorer. Davis is averaging 22.5 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game.
That is a major facilitator on offense and defensive presence that the Lakers will be missing. While not having Davis will be an adjustment, this also gives other players more opportunities. This means that there will be more shots in the offense for other players. Players such as Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, all can have more shots within the offensive. LeBron James is also going to step his game up even more since Davis is out.
These players now need to step up in the absence of Davis. The team cannot look for Davis to score, now they have to create on their own. While this injury does not have a definite return time, the Lakers team dynamic is going to shift to accommodate Davis’s absence. Kuzma and Harrell are already averaging double digits and are aware of their scoring capability. The same goes for Dennis Schroder. All of these players have the ability to pick up for the 22.5 points that Davis scores per game.
Davis’s injury is going to make the Lakers look a little different as a team but there is opportunity for growth here. The Lakers can take these games without Davis to improve their teamwork. The talent on the Lakers is there, with or without Davis, and the Lakers just need to accept the challenge and show what they’re capable of.