The Dallas Mavericks will face off with the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA's Thursday slate of action. NBA All-Star Anthony Davis has been sidelined since aggravating his Achilles tendinosis on February 14 against the Denver Nuggets.
According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis will make his return from a calf injury on Thursday against the Mavericks.
Prior to Davis going down with his injury, the Lakers held the No. 2 record in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has posted a mere 14-16 record since Davis has been sidelined and currently sits fifth in the West.
Davis has made a significant impact for the Lakers when he's been healthy but his production has been diminished from his 2019-20 levels. In 23 appearances, he is averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists this season.
Given how long Davis has been sidelined and the nature of his injury, the Lakers will have him on a 'tight minutes restriction' upon his return, per The Athletic's Bill Oram.
"Vogel said Davis will be on a tight minutes restriction to start, and it’s safe to presume the same will be true of James, whenever he returns."
The main priority for the Lakers is clearly to prioritize the long-term health of their superstars and not get caught up in getting the highest seed possible for the playoffs. Los Angeles is confident in their talent to make it to the NBA Finals regardless of having home-court advantage or not.
The Lakers will continue to be without LeBron James as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain that occurred in late March.
As for the Dallas Mavericks, they have lost four of their previous five games entering Wednesday night's matchup with the Detroit Pistons. Achieving some wins will be crucial to avoid having to participate in the NBA's Play-In Tournament.
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