For a fifth time this season, an injury forced Anthony Davis to leave an NBA game before it's conclusion.
With precisely two minutes remaining in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, Dante Cunningham inbounded the ball to Toney Douglas. On the other side of the floor, Davis attempted to set a pick on C.J. McCollum to free Jrue Holiday. Not only did it fail to go accordingly, it is presumed this failed screen was responsible for Davis' withdrawal at halftime.
With McCollum and Holiday tussling for position, they both took turns colliding with Davis. Notice how Davis' knee buckled inwards after first bumping into C.J. and then again with Holiday immediately afterwards.
In watching the 35-second clip from NBA.com's play-by-play data, he never grimaced nor grabbed at his knee following the play, yet the assumption is this moment was responsible for his early departure.
In his post-game interview, Alvin Gentry did not sound too concerned.
"There’s no reason for us to take any kind of chances with him right now," Gentry said. "So that’s why we just held him out. I didn’t think it made sense to try to stick him back out there and play in the situation that we’re in right now."
That's good news, but he did go on to add Davis would undergo further evaluation. During the game, Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer, thought there existed a chance for him to miss some time going forward.
Valgus stress placed on Anthony Davis’ knee in the collison w/ McCollum. Classic mechanism of injury for MCL injury. Hope it’s not serious.— Jeff Stotts (@RotowireATC) March 19, 2016
This wouldn't be the first time Davis would be forced to miss time due to an MCL injury. Back in 2013, a collision with Marcus Thornton resulted in an MCL sprain and a premature finish to his rookie campaign. Granted, he was in obvious pain following that incident and had to be helped off the floor, but we should all still hope the tests come back negative presumably sometime during the next 24 hours.
Watching the New Orleans Pelicans play without the services of Davis is far less entertaining. In addition, any prolonged absence could seriously jeopardize his chances at making the All-NBA team, and you should all know what that means by now -- he'd lose out on approximately $24 million additional compensation over the length of his next contract starting next season.