Maybe we’re not going to get to unwrap the Christmas Day showdown between the Anthony Davis/LeBron James Lakers and the Kawhi Leonard/Paul George Clippers we all wanted.
That’s because the team that spoke out against load management has a couple of banged-up players — both LeBron and Davis are questionable for the game on Wednesday.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both questionable to play on Christmas Day.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 23, 2019
LeBron missed his first game of the season Sunday night with a thoracic muscle strain (a strain in the middle to upper back), and the Lakers looked lost without him on offense.
LeBron reportedly expects to play on Christmas. This is a pretty standard dynamic: Players always think their recovery will be quick, teams always tend to be cautious with their pronouncements. We’ll see what plays out here.
Davis returned Sunday night after missing a couple of games with a tweaked ankle, but seemed to injure his knee when his foot slipped on a wet spot on the court in the fourth quarter. He ultimately returned to the game but did not move nearly as well after the incident, then said after the game he would need to see how it felt the next morning before deciding on the next steps.
Anthony Davis limping around on the court after slipping, still in the game for whatever reason pic.twitter.com/n6eb5J7Trx
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 23, 2019
The Lakers have lost three in a row and injuries to its two stars have been a critical reason. The Clippers have lost 2-of-3, but rested Kawhi Leonard on Sunday in a back-to-back in Oklahoma City.
Fans were hoping for a measuring stick game on Christmas Day between what has been the two best teams in the West so far (if you only count the Clippers at full strength). Unfortunately, we may not get the present we all wanted after all.