Anthony Davis makes guarantee ahead of Play-In Tournament

Lakers star Anthony Davis guarantees he will play against the Pelicans in the Play-In Tournament.
Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers ran the Pelicans off the floor on Sunday afternoon to lock up eighth in the Western Conference. The win coupled with a Suns victory over Minnesota set up a rematch between LA and New Orleans in the seven versus eight game of the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday night. This was music to the Lakers' ears. They have to win one of two games to advance to the playoffs and are facing a team they have dominated.

LeBron James and company won three of the four meetings against the Pelicans this season, including blowing them out in the In-Season Tournament semifinals and the regular season finale. It was two of the biggest games of the season for both teams, and the Lakers had their number twice.

Anthony Davis injured his back in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win, and fans feared for the worst. The nine-time All-Star played a career-high 76 games this season but could be injured at the worst time. AD put those fears to rest after the game.

Anthony Davis guarantees he will play versus the Pelicans in the Play-In Tournament

Davis talked about the injury postgame and was definitive about being ready to play on Tuesday evening. He experienced back spasms and was unable to return to Sunday's game. AD discussed his preparation play for Tuesday's contest, and fans can hear what the 6’10 big man had to say about the injury below.

The Pelicans have no answer for AD. He finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 33 minutes of action in the regular season finale. Davis made 13 of 17 field goals, and the Lakers outscored New Orleans by 15 with him on the floor.

Zion Williamson and the Pelicans struggle against the Lakers' size and star power. They are hosting the Lakers for the second straight game, but flipping the result won’t be easy. New Orleans likely needs a superstar performance from Zion plus some hot shooting if they plan on knocking off the Lakers.

Davis certainly does not want to lose to his former team, but the trade forever links the two franchises. The Pelicans get to choose if they want the Lakers' first-round pick this year or next. Rumors suggest New Orleans will defer it to 2025, but that just adds a bit more drama to the one-off contest.

Winning on Tuesday night secures the seventh seed in the Western Conference and a first-round playoff date against the defending champion Denver Nuggets. It is a must-win for the Lakers, but no franchise wants to draw Nikola Jokic and his team to open the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers need Anthony Davis on the floor if they plan on making a deep postseason run. It will start in the Play-In Tournament for the second straight. LeBron and his teammates turned that into a conference finals appearance in 2023. Can they repeat the magic? It won’t be easy, but they should have Kings James and AD. Those two stars alone make it impossible to right the Lakers off completely.

Anthony Davis will play a massive role in this contest. Expect him to suit up and put pressure on his former franchise. Do not be surprised to see another 30-point double-double as he lifts the Lakers to a victory and a playoff berth.