Lakers Must Create Path to Victory over Suns Without Anthony Davis

Frank Vogel says Anthony Davis will be game-time decision
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Los Angeles Lakers power forward Anthony Davis said he’s hopeful the team’s medical staff will clear him to play in a pivotal Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

But there’s no guarantee the Lakers will have the 28-year-old superstar on the floor in this first-round elimination game.

“I’m getting better each day,” Davis said, when asked how he’s feeling. “I’m getting treatment, doing exercises to strengthen and get the groin straight. That’s about it.

“Not being able to help the team on the floor is the toughest part, knowing that I could contribute. My body just wouldn’t allow me to. As far as tomorrow, I obviously want to. I’m still waiting to get medically cleared with the groin. I’m doing everything, treatment around the clock.”

Asked the same question about the ability of Davis, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is taking a wait-and-see approach and the final decision of whether Davis will be cleared will not happen until game-time.

“We’ll hopeful that he can get back out there for Game 6,” Vogel said. “But he’s still dealing with the injury. He’s making progress, but we still don’t know.”

During his pre-game warmup before Game 4, Davis said that the groin injury felt fine getting shots up, but when he tried to run and push off, it kind of bothered him. Davis said he received more treatment to try and loosen the groin went back out to test it on the floor again, but nothing changed with the injury.

Davis said the injured groin was likely a compensating injury du to the sprained left knee he had been dealing with earlier in the series.

“I was feeling the knee kind of the whole game, even the first couple plays I was feeling it,” Davis said. “And then I just went up to try and lay the ball up and as soon as I went up, I just felt it from my knee shoot up to my groin. That was kind of the end of it.”

Whether Davis is available or not, the Lakers need a Plan B if Davis cannot get back on the floor, figuring out a way to win without their big man in the lineup.

Like Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also is a game-time decision with a left knee bruise. With two starters potentially out, the Lakers need other players to step up like they did during the regular season.

“We have to play with a sense of desperation, with toughness and heart,” Davis said. “That’s it. Guys can’t shy away from the moment. We’ve got to be able to knock down open shots. We have not been shooting the ball well in this series. If we make shots, it’s a different series. We’ve just got to be able to make shots.”