Lakers coach Darvin Ham says Anthony Davis is 'feeling great' and probable for Game 6
Darvin Ham said star big man Anthony Davis wasn't exhibiting any signs of a concussion following a blow to the head in the fourth quarter of Game 5.
Davis, Ham said, would be listed as “probable” for a potential series-clinching game with the Golden State Warriors on Friday at Crypto.com Arena.
“He’s doing good. We checked in with him and he’s feeling great. Our medical staff gave us a great update,” said Ham, who met with reporters via teleconference. “… He’s the centerpiece of what we’re trying to do on both sides of the ball and for us just in general for our success rate. So, that was great, great news.”
Davis left Wednesday’s game late after being struck in the side of the head by an elbow from Kevon Looney. The Lakers lost Game 5 121-106.
Ham said Davis was evaluated for a concussion after the play and was cleared.
LeBron James (foot) and Dennis Schroder (Achilles) also looked hampered by injuries during Game 5, but Ham said both are fine heading into the Lakers’ final home game of the series.
For James, it will be an opportunity to knock out Stephen Curry and the Warriors, a player (and team) with whom he has a history of NBA Finals battles.
James is averaging 23.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the series, the Lakers getting strong offensive play from Davis, and at times, D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Schroder and Lonnie Walker IV.
James, though, by his standards, has been fairly quiet. The Lakers have actually been outscored by 24 points with James on the court this series.
He has not scored 30 points or more for the Lakers in a playoff game since Game 5 of 2020 NBA Finals. He did, though, have his first 20 points and 20 rebounds game as a pro in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Asked what the Lakers need from James in Game 6, Ham spoke generally.
“I mean, the same thing we need from every other player. Just to come in locked in," Ham said. "Again, we’re going to do our part, right? We’re going to give them the information that they need. We’re going to go back and show them the different ways that we can be better. The different things we did do well that we need to sustain. But at the end of the day, we have to have the energy, the effort and the urgency — and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face, until I’m a hundred and something years old, hopefully.
“Energy, effort and urgency. That’s what this time of year, this point in the series, whoever has that the most consistent team in having those three elements usually will be the successor.”
James’ two best scoring games in the series have come in Games 4 and 5. His teams have never blown a 3-1 series lead.
“Every moment is its own challenge and is its own game and is its own opportunity to see what you're made of, and we can't base last series on to this series. This series is different. The opponent is different. The challenges [are] different,” James said after Game 5. “Friday is another opportunity for us to see where we are, to see what we're made of, and to go out there with I guess the grit and the fight that we've had since we came together after the All-Star break. Very resilient team, and we respond well to adversity, and we look forward to that — to getting an opportunity to play again on Friday.”
While Ham said the coaching staff would consider all options, including lineup alterations to try to add more offensive firepower, they’ll also try to sustain much of what they used to win three of this series’ first four games — a luxury they’ll have with Davis available.
“We’ve done a great job responding throughout adversity,” Ham said. “And so I don’t expect tomorrow to be any different.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.