Anthony Davis’ back-to-back caution stirs load management controversy

LOS ANGELES — It’s not the term they would use for it, but the Lakers have inadvertently thrust themselves into the dreaded discussion of load management.

The amorphous term can mean a wide of range of things, but to fans, it means one: Resting star players. Anthony Davis has now missed the second night of two back-to-back sets with a stress reaction in his right foot, which the Lakers are now describing as an “active injury.”

While the 30-year-old isn’t technically feeling pain in his foot, he’s been medically advised to not play on back-to-back nights lest he aggravate the injury – which might already require surgery after the season.

While the Lakers put the plan in place before Davis returned from 20 games out of commission, the decision has faced plenty of detractors – particularly after the Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, preventing them from rising in the standings and hitting the .500 mark for the first time all season. In the game, the Lakers played with only one healthy center, Wenyen Gabriel, and were plus-12 in his nearly 34 minutes in the four-point loss.

In the larger scope of the NBA, load management is one of the most derided practices in the eyes of fans, who decry how it limits the availability of the game’s biggest draws. Even Coach Darvin Ham acknowledged that the focus of teams has shifted in the regular season since he last played in the mid-2000s: Teams once fought tooth-and-nail for seeding and home-court advantage; today, they might rather rest stars to ensure health even at the cost of winning games.

That’s not a luxury the Lakers can afford, scratching for even a play-in spot at the moment. But other teams – Ham has seen the priority change over time.

“You’re gonna have to …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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