Anthony Davis has only missed four games this season, but it feels like so much more—perhaps because he keeps being forced out of contests early with various injuries.
During the New Orleans Pelicans’ loss to the Indiana Pacers, for instance, Davis left the floor in the third quarter following a scary fall and didn’t return due to what the team called thumb and hip injuries:
Anthony Davis assisted to locker room after this gruesome fall https://t.co/XKqzaL6Pag
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 16, 2017
The official prognosis afterward was unclear. All the Pelicans knew, per ESPN.com’s Justin Verrier, is that the X-rays were negative:
X-rays came back negative, and Davis did not return to the Pelicans’ bench.
“Don’t know anything yet,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters in Indianapolis after the game. “We’ll just check with the doctors and see. I’m sure it’s going to be a bruise, and we’ll see to what extent it will be.”
New Orleans and Davis are lucky the immediate outlook, while uncertain, isn’t definitively worse. That was a nasty hit the 23-year-old superhuman took, and it’s not like the Pelicans can afford to plow on without him, for any period of time.
The Pelicans are 1.5 games back of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff slot—a spot they have no chance of securing without Davis. They have the net rating of a playoff team with him on the floor, but they play like the worst squad in the league when he takes a seat, according to NBA.com.
A one-, two- or three-game absence is whatever. The Pelicans can endure that skid and hope no one in the West runs away with the No. 8 seed; after all, the race for the right to suffer a first-round exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors has been a mess this year.
Once we get into five-game territory and beyond, though, the Pelicans will have problems. Lucky for them, then, it doesn’t look like this latest batch of injuries will set Davis or them that far back.