The Lakers got bad news on Monday, though it certainly could have been worse. Anthony Davis, who re-aggravated his Achilles tendinosis Sunday in Denver, will almost surely miss the nine games remaining for the Lakers before the All Star Break. But an MRI revealed no structural damage to the tendon itself, meaning long term hopes for the season are still, like A.D.'s leg, still intact.
But what happens now?
The Lakers first have a decision to make about who starts. It's likely Kyle Kuzma, but should it be someone else? How can the Lakers fill the gaps on both sides of the ball created by the absence of Davis? Why is Dennis Schröder arguably the most important player on the team, insofar as stepping up to make sure LeBron James doesn't grind himself into a pulp carrying the team while Davis is out? This moment for Schröder comes at an interesting time, as well, since starting this week he can officially get into contract extension talks with the team.
From there, we dissect what matters and what doesn't over these next nine games. Oddly enough, team accomplishments may be a lot less relevant than how individuals perform. We explain why.
And oh by the way, all of this happens while the Lakers are deep in a shooting slump that is reaching a point where it's fair to worry if "slump" is actually the right word for it. Just how good were they, anyway, at perimeter shooting? If it doesn't come back to better levels, what damage does it cause the plans for a repeat?
Finally, Blake Griffin is essentially done in Detroit. The Pistons and Griffin agreed to have him sit until he's either traded or bought out. It's a bummer of an ending for a guy who has worked incredibly hard to expand his game while his body disintegrates around him. It's not easy to figure out the how, but if they had the chance to bring him in, should the Lakers do it?