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Lakers haven’t been able to keep LeBron James, Anthony Davis on court together – Press Telegram

DALLAS – With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers always feel they have a chance to hit any opponent.

The problem is that the two most important stars in the franchise are rarely on the track at the same time.

A deep sigh escaped the lips of coach Frank Vogel on Monday afternoon after training, as he weighed in on the moment of the final cruel twist of fate. For the first time since his foot sprain in mid-February, Davis was able to go through a full practice with contact and sprain. But when Davis took a big step toward the comeback, James took a step back. His left ankle swelled a day after he was severely twisted in New Orleans.

Both James and Davis are listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, and the Lakers’ ability to secure. a play-in tournament spot with eight games remaining is also falling into doubt.

“It was that kind of year,” Vogel said. “He definitely got bitten by trying to unite those guys on the ground.”

From the peak of the 2019-20 championship season, the Lakers have worked to keep their dynamic duo on track at the same time. In that first season together, James and Davis were the team’s two most played men’s combination: they recorded 1,455 minutes in 59 games in the regular season, beating opponents by 7.9 points for every 100 possessions.

In the following two seasons, they played just 48 games and 1,147 minutes together according to NBA tracking data. They were always a good fit on the track, but not enough.

During those two years, it often seemed like one of the stars was getting healthy, the other was getting injured. Davis missed much of last season with an Achilles injury: shortly after the All-Star break, Atlanta’s Solomon Hill landed on James’ knee and only returned with two games left in the regular season. The Lakers took a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series with the Phoenix Suns before Davis injured his groin, leading to three straight losses.

This season, James lost time with an abdominal strain in November, then Davis sprained his knee in December. The two were together only one game in Brooklyn before James’s own knee made him lose five in a row. James and Davis shared the court for just five more games before Davis was sidelined when he landed in downtown Utah Rudy Gobert. In a total of 21 games together this season, the duo have not played more than seven of them in a row.

Earlier this month, Davis acknowledged that without knowing how long James’ cousin would last it was one of the most frustrating things about being hurt so many times.

“We don’t know how much time he has left in this league,” he said. “Phenomenal player, future member of the Hall of Fame, and to be able to play with him, you want to take advantage. We did the first year. Last year the two of us hit each other, and this year we came back (injuries) but more me. So every day is closing. That’s another frustrating part. “

Other missteps led the Lakers to the time of their 31-43 season, but being able to play together against James and Davis could cover up some of the flaws on the roster. The Lakers are 11-10 when they both play.

It’s a key part of why Vogel (who holds a 125-92 record in three seasons) said this campaign was the toughest in his coaching career.

“I would say probably, just because of the expectations we had,” he said. “We’ve had too many difficult nights and I think there’s an element to being a part of LeBron’s legacy management in these last years of his career, and you just want to give him the best chance of the team succeeding in all of this. So we don’t win at the level that we wanted “.

Davis has spent the last two weeks doing contactless work and conditioning out of practice. He lost 16 games in a row and, as he is rehabilitating another lower body injury, regaining his form has been difficult. The Lakers are primarily concerned about Davis’ pain in his foot – if he responds well to the workload, they will continue to progress in his rehabilitation – but Vogel added that they do not want him to be injured again running back.

Lakers haven’t been able to keep LeBron James, Anthony Davis on court together – Press Telegram Source link Lakers haven’t been able to keep LeBron James, Anthony Davis on court together – Press Telegram

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