Anthony Davis displayed remarkable durability at the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. With around six minutes left, the Lakers' big man sprained his left ankle and appeared to be in serious pain, but he fought through it and finished the game to help his team take a 3-1 lead in the series.
That doesn't guarantee his health moving forward, though. Despite finishing Game 4, the Lakers officially list Davis as questionable for Game 5 with that sprained left ankle. Just how questionable he is, though, is in itself questionable. LeBron James is listed as probable with a groin injury, but Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that both should be able to play in Game 5. "They'll continue to get their treatment. Both are experiencing some soreness but they're good to go," he told reporters Friday. This echoes Davis' sentiments on Thursday.
"My ankle feels fine," Davis told reporters after Game 4. "I've got tonight, tomorrow, before the game to get it back to where it is, but it's good enough to play. I rolled it pretty bad, but not too bad. I'll be fine."
Davis is averaging 28.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists during this stellar postseason run, and now has the Lakers only five wins away from a championship. If his ankle is a problem, though, the Lakers will have to balance his health with their title hopes. Playing Davis and giving him his usual workload in Game 5 might be risky, but it is also their best chance of ending the Western Conference finals early and getting Davis the rest he needs ahead of the NBA Finals against either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics.
The Lakers were built to be top-heavy. Their advantage comes in having the two best players in almost any matchup they find themselves in. If Davis can't be Davis, the Lakers will be in serious jeopardy against both the Nuggets and a potential Eastern Conference opponent in the Finals. For now, it seems like Davis is going to be healthy enough to go.