Out for the last nine games because of a right calf sprain, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis will miss his team’s first game after the All-Star Break against the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says the plan is for team doctors to reevaluate Davis after Friday’s game against Indiana, and he should have an update on his star power forward after that.
The Lakers practiced on Thursday for the first time after an eight-day break. Vogel said he tried to strike a balance between getting his team ready to play, yet not working them too hard so they were fatigued for the matchup against Indiana.
The Lakers have posted a 7-7 record with Davis out of the lineup for various nagging injuries so far this season. Davis turned 28 years old on Thursday.
“I love what we have,” said LeBron James when asked if the Lakers needed to add other pieces to repeat as NBA champions. “Obviously, we’ve had some injuries, with the big one being the big B-Day for my brother AD (Davis). That’s the biggest injury.
“But from there on we’ve had some other things as well. But I believe when we’re whole and full, we can compete with anyone in the world.”
James said he spent time away from the court in Los Angeles and feels about a rested as he’ll ever be as the Lakers start their push toward the postseason.
The Lakers have 35 games left, including eight back-to-backs, and will open the second half of the season with seven of the next 10 games at Staples Center.
With a few days off after the All-Star Break, James said the rest should serve to reenergize himself and his teammates, and that he’s ready for the second half of the season.
“It’s go-time,” James said. “It’s the second half of the season, and it’s time to get prepared, making that turn on that last lap going into the postseason.”
Guard Alex Caruso said he spent his off time relaxing and playing some golf. Even though he was invited to participated in the dunk competition during the All-Star weekend, Caruso said he declined in order to get some rest.
“I can do a couple tricks here and there,” Caruso said. “But people are jumping over people, doing windmills and going between their legs twice or something like that. So, I don’t think I’m quite on that level of dunk contest material. I’m probably more of an in-game dunker, and really needed a break with the condensed offseason.”
Vogel said with Damian Jones being signed to another, 10-day contract, it gives the rangy center an opportunity to earn a long-term position on the roster.
“I want to see more of what he did,” Vogel said. “I thought he played well for us. He plays the role of a lob threat. He doesn’t try to play outside of that lane offensively, to be a screener, a lob threat and a rebounder offensively.
“And then defensively to be able to man the middle, be a shot blocker and play within out coverages. And obviously to rebound the ball and matchup with other team’s bigger centers I think is what we asked of him last week, and I thought he did well with it.”
Jones should continue to see more minutes, with starting center Marc Gasol still unavailable due to the league’s health and safety protocols. The Lakers also listed Kostas Antetokounmpo out for Friday's game because of the NBA's health and safety protocols.