Former NBA champion and current ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson has criticized the Lakers for benching Anthony Davis in a crucial game against the Houston Rockets.
The Los Angeles Lakers lost a crucial game against a shaky Houston Rockets on Thursday. Coming off a perfect victory over the New Orleans Pelicans just the previous night, the Lakers started out as the favorites. However, the tables turned quickly as the Rockets dominated right from the first minute. The Lakers trailed by 12 points in the first quarter and never really recovered from it.
The loss hurt the Lakers’ playoff qualification run. Moreover, the team’s decision to bench Anthony Davis further drove fans and critics into a frenzy. AD, who clocked match-winning 35 points against the Pelicans, graced the bench on Thursday as he failed to receive clearance from the medical team. Furthermore, a former NBA champion has raised serious questions about the Lakers’ bizarre strategies.
Former NBA Player Turned Analyst Questions Lakers For Resting Anthony Davis
The Los Angeles Lakers, who are currently battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, decided to sit Anthony Davis for rest purposes despite the importance of the game. According to head coach Darvin Ham, Davis’ stress foot recovery plan disallows him to play back-to-back games. FYI, AD suffered a stress foot injury in the month of December and missed five and a half weeks of game time. Ever since, the Lakers have benched Davis purposely on a few occasions to provide ample rest to the foot. However, the recent decision has not gone down well with the critics.
Richard Jefferson, who won a championship with the Cleveland Claviers in 2016 with LeBron James, expressed his frustration with the Lakers’ decision. He said that as a viewer and a fan, he fails to understand why Anthony Davis has to miss out on games despite being pain-free. Richard further elaborated, saying that he is not a doctor or intends to be extremely critical, but things just don’t add up. He later called out head coach Darvin Ham for passing confusing statements and misleading the viewers. Richard further argued that the team should have played Davis if his injury was completely pain-free.
Davis’ Advised To Miss Back To Back Games In Order To Keep His Injury In Check
The Lakers’ decision to rest Anthony Davis for the crucial game has left the fans puzzled. They fail to understand the recovery plan that suggests Davis miss games despite being pain-free. Furthermore, a fan argued on Twitter that if resting AD’s foot is that important, they could have benched him in the second half and reduced his overall game time by sizeable minutes.
However, Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group responded to the fan query by saying that Anthony Davis is strictly advised to miss back-to-back games irrespective of his overall game time. Hence, Davis’ minutes spent in court do not matter at all. He just has to avoid two games in a row. The Lakers are currently fighting for a playoff spot and will need to make tough decisions about player rest and injury management.