After taking a scary fall against the Knicks almost two weeks ago that left him with the most famous gluteus maximus contusion in the NBA, it appears that Anthony Davis may finally return to action when the Lakers take on the Celtics Monday night.
The Lakers originally listed Davis as questionable after practice on Sunday, which he did not participate in. However, as of Monday morning, the team said that he will be available to play after missing the past five games. In Davis’ absence, the Lakers have performed admirably, going 4-1 with notable wins over the Rockets, Mavericks and Thunder — the latter of which they pulled off with LeBron James sidelined, as well. During that stretch, the Lakers — whose only loss game to the Magic — are a plus-13.4 and are shooting a collective 39.5 percent from three. Small sample size, sure. But it was an encouraging sign for a team playing without an MVP candidate.
There was the possibility that Davis could have been back in action for the Lakers’ showdown with the Rockets on Saturday night, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported. However, the franchise ruled the All-Star out of the matchup just over an hour prior to the scheduled tip-off time. The Lakers survived without him, though, beating the Rockets 124-115 behind strong performances from James and Kyle Kuzma.
While Davis was sidelined, Kuzma saw a bump in minutes and became a starter in those five games. Over that span, he averaged 20 points and 5.8 rebounds, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and posting a boxscore plus-minus of 6.2. With Davis back, Kuzma will likely return to a bench role, where he’s struggled to consistently produce this season.