The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their second loss in a row as the Miami Heat defeated them 96-94. This was their third loss in the last five games they have played and have slipped to the third seed with this poor run of form.
With Davis missing from the lineup, the champions have been forced to depend on their newer role players like Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma. They are clearly adjusting to life without AD but will look to be back to their best soon.
Former NBA players Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson recently spoke at ESPN’s The Jump. Both Carter and Jefferson emphasised that the Lakers had to be conservative regarding Davis’ injury.
Carter said, “I want them to be extremely conservative. We got to see what happened to KD. And it was unfortunate and a lot of us RJ, I’m sure you would you saw it as well, we all said no KD, we don’t want you to play because you could potentially get hurt and what happened.”
“So I look at the same situation with AD, take as long as you need a month, two months, I say you take two months, two-and-a-half months, come back two weeks a month left in the season, get yourself back into playing shape, get back in rhythm, take the first round to kind of get yourself going.”
Jefferson on the other hand said, “I’m going to take it one step further to what Vince is saying. Ultimately, if Anthony Davis gets hurt, or if he’s not 100% healthy, you’re going to lose him for two seasons. That means no championship this year. That means no championship next year. So you want to be extremely cautious. Right so I’m okay with them.”
He added, “Hey, you can come back with two weeks ago on the season because we don’t want your calf Achilles at 80% and 90%. We want that in 100% and so if Anthony Davis is 100% and if you’re playing well, the Lakers are the favorite in the Western Conference.”
The Lakers face an uphill task in the regular season with Davis’ injury. They will be fully aware of how important the 28-year-old is in the playoffs, so might not want to take the risk of speeding him through the recovery process.
The injury to Davis has meant an increased load on their 36-year-old talisman LeBron James. LBJ has shown that he can up his game, but can the others step up for the champions?
AD’s injury provides the perfect opportunity to a player like Kyle Kuzma. Kuz who had become a great rotational piece this season will be a starter without ‘the Brow.’
These games will be crucial for him to cement his position as the third go-to option in the offense. The defending champions can meanwhile also sign a backup big man before the trade deadline.
According to NBA insider Kevin O’ Connor, they are keen in bringing in DeMarcus Cousins. If Cousins does re-join the Lakers, he will address a much needed dearth of size in the roster.
Boogie meanwhile can also chip in with crucial three pointers. He will also be a much better defender on the floor than their starting center, Marc Gasol. The Lakers need to find a solution soon. If they don’t, they might slip down further in the Western Conference table.
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