LA Lakers' Anthony Davis Still Playing Despite Shoulder InjuryBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Following a loss of 113-104 to the Toronto Raptors on October 10, Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis said he's still feeling pain in his right shoulder after a missed dunk attempt two weeks ago. He said he always felt something was wrong with his shoulder during every game, but he never let it affect his performance. "I just play through it and then worry about taking care of it after the game," he said.
Davis was still successful in pacing L.A. against the Raptors. With 27 points shot on 10-for-20 with 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals. On one of those swats on Pascal Siakam strained his shoulder, causing the joint to collapse as he made his way back to court.
His injury care involves wearing a lightweight T-shirt under his uniform and pressing a heat pack on the shoulder when he's on the bench. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the shoulder was perfectly fine but admitted that it had been tweaked further. Vogel added that the medical team had no go signal for Davis to come out.
By outscoring the Lakers 11-0 on fast-break points in the fourth quarter, Toronto was able to snap L.A.'s seven-game winning streak. Nonetheless, the entire Lakers team thought it was necessary to do better in their transition defense.
For the game, Toronto outscored the fast-break points of the Lakers 33-11, including 21-0 in the second half. According to ESPN, it was the most points scored by a team without the opposition scoring a fast-break point in half this season.
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said they were hindered all season by their transition defense. He felt it was kind of Achilles' heel that they needed to address. Even as the best defensive team of the NBA, Kuzma still thinks they have faults, but they are fixable.
With the best defensive performance in the league, the Lakers came into the night and noticed the power of the Raptors in fast-break scoring. Toronto currently ranks number 1 in the league with an average of 22.7 transition points per game, but that recognition was not enough to deter a Raptors team that was supposed to be reeling from the losses of Kyle Lowry's thumb and Serge Ibaka's ankle injuries.
Vogel said they "showed a lot of energy in transition defense, getting back in sprints and trying to recover games," but that wasn't really there and it cost them the game.
A strong game from Davis and LeBron James' fourth triple-double of the season was neutralized by the fast-break margin: 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, though 5-for-15 shooting.
According to ESPN, the Lakers was 0-for-6 in transition opportunities in the second half, and for the game, Fred Van Vleet outscored the Lakers in fast-break scenarios with 12-11. Last game's loss dropped the Lakers to 7-2, tied with the soaring Denver Nuggets for the number 1 spot in the Western Conference.