The Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat on Friday, but nearly lost far more. Late in the opening quarter, star big man Anthony Davis collapsed on the baseline while clutching his ankle and Achilles area.
After staying down on the ground for a short period of time, during which he was attended to by the Lakers' medical staff, Davis was able to get to his feet and hobble back to the bench under his own power. That was the first good sign, and a short time later everyone in Los Angeles was able to breathe a sigh of relief when the team announced that Davis had only re-aggravated a heel contusion, and he checked back into the game. Thankfully, the worst possible outcome seems to have been avoided. Davis is listed as probable on the Lakers' injury report heading into Game 6 and their second crack at winning the NBA championship.
While Davis played 42 minutes in Game 5, he was clearly feeling the effects of his heel injury. At various different points of the game, you could tell he was, "struggling to move a little bit," as Lakers head coach Frank Vogel put it.
The incident happened with a minute left in the first quarter, as Davis was battling for a rebound with Andre Iguodala. It's not entirely clear what caused the pain, though it appears that Davis may have made contact with Duncan Robinson's knee. In any case, it's tremendous news for Los Angeles that this was only a scare, and not something serious.
This series, and the playoffs in general, have already been marred by a series of injuries to key players. The last thing we needed was the potential Finals MVP going down in Game 5. Fortunately, it looks like he'll be good to go for Game 6.