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Anthony Davis questionable to return to Game 6 vs. Suns [UPDATE]

Lakers PF was cleared to play but was clearly in pain early in the first quarter. He went to the locker room and may not be back.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns - Game Five
Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before Game Five of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Update — Davis is questionable to return to Game 6 vs. the Suns.

Update — Davis has gone to the locker room clearly in pain early in the first quarter vs the Suns on Thursday night.

Update, June 3 — Davis has been cleared to play in Game 6, according to Chris Haynes. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said team doctors would need to make the final decision on Davis’ status and it appears everything checks out.

Update, June 3 — According to Shams Charania, Davis plans to return to the floor in Game 6 if pregame warmups go according to plan. Davis averaged 27.0 points and 9.3 rebounds over Games 1-3 before suffering a groin strain in Game 4 and missing Game 5. The Lakers are down 3-2 to the Suns, likely pushing Davis back to the floor even if he’s not fully recovered.

Update, June 2 — The Lakers were demolished by the Suns in Game 5 and the series shifts back to LA with the defending champs down 3-2. Davis is being considered questionable to play in Game 6 on Thursday night. Vogel mentioned before Game 5 on Tuesday that Davis is dealing more with the groin strain than with the knee issue from before. It still feels like this injury is more serious and if it weren’t the playoffs, Davis would be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Update: AD apparently hinted at a return to the lineup Thursday for Game 6, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

It’s difficult to figure out the exact Lakers rotation after Game 5 because it was over after the first quarter basically. The Lakers opted to start Morris in place of AD and that didn’t exactly work out. Alex Caruso and Marc Gasol started the second half and things didn’t get better. It may be time for Vogel to just give in and play Montrezl Harrell a bit to try and spark the team. If nothing else, Harrell can provide some energy and a physical presence down low.

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Update, Game 5 — Davis is officially out for Game 5 vs. the Suns on Tuesday night. Markieff Morris will start in his place at power forward.

Update, Game 5 — Davis is a game-time decision for Game 5 vs. the Suns on Tuesday night, per coach Frank Vogel. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be available to play after missing Game 4. Vogel mentioned that the issue is with the groin strain for AD and it isn’t his knee.

Update, May 31st — Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5 vs. the Suns on Tuesday, per Shams Charania.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters Monday evening that Davis has a groin strain after getting an MRI and is questionable for Game 5 vs. the Suns on Tuesday.

Update, Game 4 — Davis’ status after suffering a groin injury will be updated Monday, according to Lakers team reporter Mike Trudell. Davis suffered the injury late in the first half of Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers lost to the Suns 100-92, evening the series at 2-2.

Update, Game 4 — According to Rachel Nichols, Anthony Davis has a left groin strain and is out for the rest of Game 4 vs. the Suns. Davis was already dealing with a knee injury ahead of the contest, but played most of the first half with through the injury before suffering the groin strain.

Davis picked up the injury following a fall after a diving layup attempt as the first half was winding down. He attempted to walk off the pain, but did not return from the locker room when the the teams returned to the floor. The Lakers said Davis was being evaluated further before eventually ruling him out for the contest.

Update, Game 4 — Kyle Kuzma is starting the second half ahead of Anthony Davis due to the big man’s knee injury, according to Chris Haynes. Davis has not come back out of the locker room since halftime.

Update, Game 4 — Davis will play in Game 4 vs. the Suns on Sunday afternoon, Vogel confirmed to reporters. AD had said pretty staunchly that he was always going to play in this game. It’s the playoffs. We’ll monitor AD throughout the game and see how he performs with the knee sprain. It could hold him back a bit, which makes him a risky-ish DFS play. Ayton feels like a decent move since he’s been great in the series and Davis could be a step slow on defense and rotating down low.

Update — Well, AD told reporters after the news he was questionable that “there’s no chance” he misses Game 4 vs. the Suns on Sunday.

Los Angeles Lakers PF Anthony Davis is dealing with a knee sprain that has him questionable to play in Game 4 vs. the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Saturday afternoon. AD appeared to be just fine in the Lakers’ 109-95 win over the Suns in Game 3, scoring 34 points with 11 rebounds in 40 minutes. The Lakers lead the first-round series 2-1 after taking the past two games. Davis has been a big reason why the Lakers were able to shake off the loss in Game 1.

The Lakers host the Suns in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. AD is averaging 27 points and 9.3 rebounds over three games so far in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. If the Lakers are without Davis for Game 4, it would swing the series again in favor of the Suns. If Phoenix can take advantage of the injuries to Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (quad), who is also questionable, then it becomes a three-game series to decide who advances, essentially.

We likely won’t have lines for Lakers-Suns posted until we get a better idea of whether KCP and AD are going to play. If the Lakers rule both players out, the Suns may end up being favored. The Lakers would be down two starters — their leading scorer and best perimeter defender. LeBron James can still carry the team, but it will be difficult because the injuries would provide a huge boon for both Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.

As long as AD can play, which you’d think he will be, the Lakers should be fine in Game 4. It’s unclear how much the knee would bother Davis and obviously his long-term health is also important. Playing on a knee sprain could risk further injury. L.A. could hold Davis out as a precaution and try and take Game 4 without him, which is totally feasible. Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma would get the biggest boost in DFS, the two potential starters if AD and KCP are out.