Watch the injury and it could have been much worse.
Anthony Davis exits to the Lakers locker room again after Jaden McDaniels rolls up on his knee.pic.twitter.com/BFSQ4yY5Cz
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 18, 2021
The fact nothing was torn and Davis will not have to undergo surgery was good news, and Davis told reporters in his hometown of Chicago — where he is with the Lakers for a Sunday-night game — he was in good spirits. Via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
Anthony Davis, speaking to reporters for the first time since his knee injury in MIN: "I mean, mentally, I’m fine. I’m in good spirits, just being around the team. Obviously avoided a major injury, which has kind of got my spirits back up because I just didn’t know."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 20, 2021
The good news for the Lakers is Davis should only be out for a month or a little more. The bad news is a month is still a long time — at least a dozen games in this case — and the Lakers are not the same team without Davis.
While Lakers fans may be frustrated Davis hasn’t stepped up to be the alpha taking over the team from LeBron James, he is still averaging 23.3 points and 10 rebounds a game. More importantly, he is their best defender — the Lakers defense has climbed up to the top 10 in the league after a slow start this season, but it is 3.3 points per 100 possessions better when Davis is on the court.
No Davis could mean more big lineups with DeAndre Jordan (he started Sunday vs. the Bulls) or Dwight Howard (out in health and safety protocols). It also could mean more LeBron James at center minutes, although too much of that would put a lot of load on LeBron, who already will have to carry a lot with Davis out. The Lakers signed Russell Westbrook to help carry the load if LeBron or Davis were to miss extended time, pressure will be on him, but the Lakers have a -2.8 net rating when Westbrook is on the court without Davis or LeBron.
All of which is to say, the good news is Davis will be back in a month or so. It could have been much worse.