After exiting the game early due to back spasms, Los Angeles Lakers star big man Anthony Davis still plans to suit up when the defending champions take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, May 7 (Saturday, May 8, Manila time).
“I should be good to go… my plan is to go tomorrow,” said Davis, who finished with 4 points and 1 rebound in 9 minutes of action in the Lakers’ 118-94 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
With only six games remaining, Davis acknowledged the importance of the upcoming showdown against the Trail Blazers, as both squads are currently tied for the No. 6 seed with a 37-29 record.
What makes Friday’s game between the Lakers and the Trail Blazers even more crucial is that both teams are also trying to avoid dropping out of the top 6 in the Western Conference, which would put them in the play-in tournament at the end of the regular season.
“Tomorrow’s probably the biggest game left of these games,” added Davis.
The play-in tournament, which was implemented in the 2020-2021 season, will take place before the playoffs, and will include the teams ranked 7-10.
In the format, the No. 7 team will face the No. 8 team to determine the seventh seed in the playoffs. The loser of that game will then face the winner of the matchup between the No. 9 team and the No. 10 team for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Earlier this week, Lakers superstar LeBron James, who is currently out due to an ankle injury, expressed his frustration over the league’s newest format, saying whoever came up with it “needs to be fired.”
However, for Davis, it doesn’t matter if the undermanned Lakers enter the play-in tournament as he feels the team is ready to compete against anybody, especially when they are 100 percent healthy.
“When we get everyone healthy, especially heading to the playoffs, we know the type of team that we are, and I think the league knows the type of team that we are,” said Davis.
“No matter if we have to play in a play-in game, or we get the fifth or sixth seed, we’re ready to compete against anybody.”– Rappler.com