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#pounditMonday, August 2, 2021

Anthony Davis

Russell Westbrook met at LeBron James’ house to plot Lakers move

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the move came together just as he and the Lakers’ superstars planned.

On Thursday, word emerged that the Lakers pulled off a trade with the Washington Wizards to acquire Westbrook. The Lakers sent Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick to Washington for Westbrook and two future second-round picks.

The trade was culminated two weeks after a big meeting at LeBron James’ house.

According to the LA Times’ Broderick Turner, Westbrook met with Anthony Davis and LeBron at James’ home two weeks ago. There, they discussed teaming up together on the Lakers.

Turner reports that the players agreed to put their egos aside in the interest of pursuing a championship. For instance, James and Davis expressed a willingness to play different positions if necessary. Westbrook said he was willing to play off the ball when James wanted to handle the rock.

The result is the Lakers ended up pursuing and making the trade, with the Wizards fulfilling Westbrook’s desires.

The Lakers will enter the 2021-2022 season as a strong contender to win the championship, just as they did in 2020. The trade also means that Westbrook was 1-and-done in DC, just like he was 1-and-done in Houston.

Based on his reaction, James seems pretty pumped about having the “Brodie” in the mix.

Anthony Davis explains why he tried to play through groin injury

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis clearly should not have played in Thursday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, but the Los Angeles Lakers star said he wanted to do everything he could to help the team avoid elimination.

Davis was only able to play five minutes in Game 6 before exiting, as he could hardly move well due to his groin injury. He told reporters after his team’s 113-100 loss that he wanted to try to tough it out given the circumstances.

“I just wanted to be out there for the team in the situation of win or go home,” Davis said. “Obviously, I didn’t just want to lay down and not be able to do what I can. It never really felt good, but it’s just the competitive nature in me to want to go out and help the team as much as I could. My body didn’t agree.”

Davis injured his groin in Game 4 and sat out Game 5. It was evident how important he is to the Lakers when they were blown out 115-85 in Game 5. That’s likely why he did everything he could to play, but his injury kept him from being effective.

Charles Barkley ruthlessly mocked Davis earlier in the week for always being hurt (video here), but you have to admire the star big man’s effort to play hurt on Thursday.

Charles Barkley plays both sides on Anthony Davis injury

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is known for some of his biting analysis, but he whiffed with his commentary regarding Anthony Davis.

Barkley went hard on Davis Tuesday, sharing his disparaging nickname for the Los Angeles Lakers big man. Barkley calls Davis “Street Clothes” as a reference to Davis’ tendency to get injured.

Davis seems like he is dealing with one injury or another on a regular basis, so Barkley isn’t exactly off base. And Barkley is no stranger to making jokes at players’ expenses, so this isn’t new.

But where Barkley went wrong came with his commentary at halftime of Game 6 between the Lakers and Phoenix Suns in their first-round playoff series.

Davis, who missed Game 5 of the series due to a groin injury, tried to play in Game 6 with his Lakers facing elimination. It didn’t go well. Davis was hardly able to move well, clearly did not belong in the game, and only lasted five minutes before exiting.

Commentary like Barkley’s may have made Davis feel pressure to play through an injury when he really had no business playing. But then at halftime, Barkley put the blame on the Lakers’ medical staff for clearing Davis to play.

Given the way he mocked Davis, maybe Barkley should have praised Davis for trying to play.

Anthony Davis gave sign he will be ready for Game 6

Anthony Davis Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis certainly appears confident that he will be able to play in the team’s do-or-die Game 6 on Thursday.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis gave a signal of optimism that he would be back quickly during the team’s blowout loss in Game 5. Coming out of a timeout, Davis glanced at someone sitting courtside, nodded, and held up six fingers, suggesting that he would be good to go for Game 6.

Of course, there’s a difference between optimism and reality sometimes, and it remains to be seen how Davis’ left groin responds ahead of Thursday’s game. Davis could be seen wincing during a pregame workout while testing the injury, and it was quite clear he didn’t come particularly close to playing in Game 5. That is despite Davis telling teammates he was going to push to play leading up to that game, only to be ruled out when he obviously couldn’t go.

The Lakers will probably need Davis in Game 6, as the team’s supporting cast was not up to the challenge in Game 5. Plus, Davis will no doubt want to silence some of his critics, but ultimately, it’s not totally up to him how he’ll feel come Thursday.

Charles Barkley coins harsh new nickname for Anthony Davis

Charles Barkley

Anthony Davis is one of the most dominant players in the NBA when healthy, but staying on the court is something he has struggled with throughout his career. Charles Barkley clearly has no sympathy for the Los Angeles Lakers star.

During TNT’s halftime coverage of the Lakers-Suns game on Tuesday night, Barkley declared that L.A. has no chance of winning the series “without Street Clothes.” We capitalized “Street Clothes” because Barkley was using it as a name for Davis.

Barkley, of course, was referring to the fact that Davis is injured so often. The harsh shot at Davis drew a round of awkward laughs from Chuck’s TNT colleagues.

Davis missed 30 consecutive games during the regular season with what the Lakers described as a calf strain. He exited in the first half of Game 3 against the Suns after hyperextending his knee and did not return. The All-Star big man then injured his groin in Game 4 and was unable to play in Game 5 on Tuesday.

Once again, we saw how important Davis is to the Lakers, as they were blown out 115-85 by the Suns. The loss was so bad that LeBron James recreated his infamous playoff stunt from last year.

You never want to question the legitimacy of a player’s injury, but is sounds like Barkley feels Davis is not doing everything he can to suit up.

Anthony Davis groin injury update: Lakers star unlikely to play in Game 5

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis left the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday with a groin injury, and it sounds like the ailment will keep him out for at least one more game.

Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. He is considered day-to-day, but Charania notes that there is optimism about his status going forward.

Game 5 is extremely important for the Lakers, as Phoenix’s win on Sunday tied the series at 2-2. If the Lakers lose on Tuesday night, they’ll be forced to win both Game 6 and Game 7, which will be in Phoenix.

Davis, who has also been dealing with a knee injury, scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ wins in the series. The team struggled when he was sidelined during the regular season, and his importance can’t be overstated.

Anthony Davis could play in Game 5 despite groin injury

Anthony Davis Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers received relatively good news on forward Anthony Davis after he left Sunday’s Game 4 with a groin injury.

As first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis is considered day-to-day after suffering a left groin strain in the Lakers’ first round series against the Phoenix Suns. Davis has a chance to play in Game 5, but that is far from guaranteed at this point.

The good news for the Lakers is that Davis has a chance, perhaps even a good one, to play again in the series. There might not be a lot of time for a comeback, though. The series is tied 2-2, and the Lakers will have to win on Tuesday in Phoenix to avoid facing elimination in Game 6. Whether or not they have an effective Davis in that one could be huge.

Davis, who has also been dealing with a knee injury, did not play in the second half of Sunday’s loss. He scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ wins in the series, but was held to 13 in a Game 1 loss and contributed only six in the first half Sunday before being forced out by injury.

Anthony Davis out for game with new groin injury

Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without forward Anthony Davis for the remainder of Game 4, and worryingly, it’s due to a different injury than the one he was already dealing with.

Davis did not start the second half of Sunday’s game against Phoenix and was in the locker room being evaluated. The assumption was that it was related to a left knee sprain that had led Davis to be listed as questionable leading up to the game.

However, the Lakers later announced that Davis had suffered a left groin strain, and would miss the rest of Sunday’s game.

This has to be a huge worry for the Lakers, who have relied heavily on Davis in their victories in Games 2 and 3. His struggles in Game 1 were a big reason why the Lakers lost that game, and not surprisingly, the team was struggling in Game 4 as well. Davis contributed only six points in the first half, and the team trailed 54-50 at the half.

It remains to be seen how the new injury will impact Davis’ availability going forward. He was already banged up, so it definitely remains to be seen what his status will be for Game 5.

Anthony Davis leaves Game 4 due to knee injury

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis’ health became a significant worry for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, as the star forward did not start the second half of Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns.

Davis was listed as questionable leading up to Sunday’s Game 4, though the star big man did end up making the start. However, he was observed in warmups wincing and struggling with his sprained right knee.

Davis struggled in the first half, adding just six points on 2-of-9 shooting. Kyle Kuzma started the second half in place of Davis, who was not even on the bench. A report on the ABC broadcast via a Lakers spokesperson said that Davis was in the locker room being evaluated.

Davis has taken some hits in the series, though the knee is clearly the main issue. He was a massive part of the Lakers’ wins in Games 2 and 3 after struggling in the Game 1 loss. If he’s not healthy, things get much tougher for the Lakers in what is proving to be a difficult and closely-fought first round series against Phoenix.

Anthony Davis says Devin Booker committed ‘dirty play’

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis was not a fan of Devin Booker’s flagrant foul at the end of Game 3 on Thursday night.

Booker was ejected for his hard foul in the final minute of his Phoenix Suns’ 109-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Booker gave Dennis Schroder a hard push while Schroder was driving to the basket (seen here).

After the game, Davis was interviewed by TNT and asked about the play.

“Can’t happen. Can’t do that. They’ve been chirping, it’s playoff basketball, but you don’t push a guy like that … it’s a dirty play. Dennis could have really got hurt right there,” Davis said.

Davis went on to say that they accept that hard fouls are part of playoff basketball, but an intentional push like that is different and could result in an injury.

He is not wrong. That was a dirty, uncalled for move from Booker, who being a poor sport as his team fell behind 2-1.