The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to extend the team’s winning streak to four games on Wednesday night as the purple and gold ultimately fell victim to a familiar foe: the back-to-back which was also a third game in four days.
The Sacramento Kings were better from tip-off to final buzzer with very few promising moments in between for the Lake Show. It was a typical mid-week November loss that was frustrating to watch, but will ultimately be easy to forget in the landscape of an 82-game season.
But this game… this game might be different; not for the game itself, but because of what it might be the start of. It might represent the start of a downhill spiral full of mismanagement and poor situational planning. For simplicity’s sake, it might be the start of a familiar story: Anthony Davis and LeBron James running themselves into the ground.
Why such a drastic take after a mid-November loss? Davis himself admitted after the game that the hip injury that he suffered last week (and has played multiple games with) is still bothering him.
Why is Davis playing if his hip is still bothering him? That is the question that we are all trying to answer.
Lakers’ nightmare begins as the team continues to mismanage Anthony Davis and LeBron James
There is no reason for Anthony Davis to be playing in the capacity that he has played since suffering the injury if he is still dealing with lingering effects. We are in the middle of November. It is not like we are in mid-March and the Lakers need to string together wins in order to get into the playoffs. If there ever was a time to be cautious, now is the time.
Instead, Darvin Ham and Co. decided to throw caution to the wind and let Davis go out there with a lingering injury to play a third game in four days. Sure, being able to play through nagging injuries is a noble trait and is one that the best superstars in the league have. But Davis should be different. When you haven’t played 65 games in a season in seven years, you lose that right.
So are the Lakers going to take what Davis said after the Kings’ loss and adjust accordingly? No, it doesn’t seem like it! Davis already confirmed that he is going to play on Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
You know, the same Trail Blazers who have a better shot at having the worst record in the league than being a play-in team. If there ever was an opponent to rest AD against, it is the Blazers (especially on the road).
This is frustrating considering how the team has handled 38-year-old LeBron James (who turns 39 next month). It looked like Los Angeles developed a smart game plan to limit LeBron’s minutes after the first game when he only played 29 points. Ham even said that would be the trend this season.
It didn’t take long for that to go by the wayside. LeBron is averaging 33.7 minutes per game, has played in two separate back-to-backs already this season and played 35 minutes in a blowout loss on Wednesday night.
It is like the Lakers are asking for their two superstars to get hurt. The team is actively ripping off the bubble wrap and ignoring the fragile labels that should be smothered all over LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Fans shouldn’t be surprised if one of, if not both, of the stars suffers an avoidable injury in a key moment this season. If so, we will all remember this mid-November loss to the Kings as the first sign of trouble.
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