What happened to Anthony Davis? Video of elbow to head, possible concussion shows why Lakers center left Game 5
The biggest story coming out of Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals wasn't that the Warriors managed to keep their season alive with a dominant 121-106 win.
It was that Anthony Davis left with an injury that could impact his status for the rest of the series.
The Lakers are one win away from the Western Conference Finals due in large part to the play of Davis. His 21.5 points per game rank second to LeBron James (22.8) for most on the team, and he leads all players in the postseason with averages of 13.5 rebounds and 3.4 blocks.
His availability for Game 6 and a possible Game 7 now looms large over the series.
MORE: The latest on Anthony Davis after Game 5 head injury
What happened to Anthony Davis?
Davis suffered a head injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Davis was hit in the side of the face inadvertently by Warriors center Kevon Looney while crashing the glass for a potential offensive rebound. Davis immediately grabbed his face and bent over in pain.
Here's a video of the play:
Anthony Davis did not return to Game 5 after getting hit in the head by Kevon Looney. pic.twitter.com/2bOZ2h9U7q— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 11, 2023
Davis exited the game and was evaluated on the bench. He then went to the back of the arena and was reportedly placed in a wheelchair on the way to the training room because he felt "woozy."
Davis was later seen walking out of the arena without needing any help.
Did Anthony Davis get a concussion?
The Lakers didn't give a specific reason for Davis leaving the game, but TNT's Chris Haynes reported afterward that the early diagnosis indicated he had avoided a concussion.
The next day, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on "Get Up" that Davis would continue to be evaluated for concussion symptoms on Thursday.
"It's not necessarily the way he feels," Windhorst said. "There's a series of tests they put him through that they compare him to tests that he had when he was not concussed to see how he's reacting. If he has to go into concussion protocol, it is not a matter of how he's feeling or whether he can play through things. There is a predetermined list of return-to-play guidelines that take time."
According to the NBA's guidelines, a player who had a concussion cannot return until they are without concussion-related symptoms at rest, have been evaluated by a physician, successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion process, and the return-to-participation process and decision has been discussed between a team physician and the Director of the NBA Concussion Program.
The NBA describes the return-to-participation exertion process as follows:
- The return to participation process involves several steps of increasing exertion – from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills.
- With each step, a focused neurological examination is performed and a player must be symptom free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom free after a step, he stops until he is symptom free and begins again at the previous step of the process (i.e., the last step he passed without any symptoms).
There is no timeframe to complete the above process.
Will Anthony Davis play in Game 6?
Understandably, Lakers fans left Game 5 wondering if Davis will be available for Game 6 back in Los Angeles on Friday.
As of Thursday morning, the expectation is that Davis will be available to play in Game 6 "barring a setback," per Haynes.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, if Davis is in fact diagnosed with a concussion, it is unlikely he would play in Game 6 or potentially even Game 7 on Sunday.
.@WindhorstESPN has the latest on Anthony Davis' injury: pic.twitter.com/e1Z0odv0MD— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 11, 2023
Lakers vs. Warriors schedule
The Warriors and Lakers have only one day off between Games 5 and 6.
If Golden State defeats Los Angeles in Game 6, Game 7 would be played on Sunday, May 14.
|Date||Game/Result||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|May 2||Lakers 117, Warriors 112||10 p.m.||TNT|
|May 4||Warriors 127, Lakers 100||9 p.m.||ESPN|
|May 6||Lakers 127, Warriors 97||8:30 p.m.||ABC|
|May 8||Lakers 104, Warriors 101||10 p.m.||TNT|
|May 10||Warriors 121, Lakers 106||10 p.m.||TNT|
|May 12||Game 6||10 p.m. at Lakers||ESPN|
|May 14||Game 7*||TBD at Warriors||TBD|
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