The Los Angeles Lakers were triumphant over the Orlando Magic in their return to the great state of Florida. The last time the Purple and Gold were there, it was under unprecedented circumstances in the bubble at Walt Disney World.
Anthony Davis was among those that returned home with some serious hardware after helping to secure the team’s 17th title in franchise history. While the restrictions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic came with their own set of challenges, the Lakers managed to overcome with a dominant outing in the postseason.
Aside from boasting the most dominant 1-2 punch in the NBA, their success can be attributed to the camaraderie the team shared during a challenging season. It seems the recent trip to Orlando provided only a small bit of nostalgia for those that had been a part of it.
Despite some turnover to the roster, there is still a solid portion of members from last year’s title run on the team. Davis admits that that outside of a few playful texts in the group chat, not a whole lot was made about the trip.
“I didn’t think about it. We made a little joke in our group chat, group text. We made a little joke about it, but after that, we didn’t think about it at all. Well, I didn’t.”
Davis noted that the biggest difference between this squad and last year’s was the team chemistry that had been built through the extended period in a quarantine bubble.
“I think we just had chemistry. When you are stuck in the city in a hotel for 100 plus days or something like that, you have nowhere to go and nothing to do but be around your teammates and so that builds chemistry and if we were able to do the same thing I think our chemistry would be on another level.”
Davis feels even if these Lakers are not forced to spend as much time together, they are finally building that level of camaraderie in the final stretch of the season.
“Obviously, the protocols are different, so we can’t do things that we were able to do last year whether we are at home or on the road. Guys have families and so when you are at home, you are with your family and things like that. The experience on both sides are totally different, but we’re still finding our chemistry in ways that we can while following the protocols. I think we’re starting to find that rhythm, find that chemistry whereas last year, we had no choice we were stuck together for so long.”
Davis’ comments are certainly understandable considering how different the circumstances are compared to last season. Even if they are no longer obligated to spend extended periods of time with each other off the court, it was only a matter of time before this group got on the same page.
Lakers hoping to avoid getting complacent
The quick turnaround from their championship run to the start of the new season has undoubtedly led to some complacency at points during the season. Although the Lakers have some ground to make up for if they hope to secure a top-4 seed, they will remain as a heavy favorite to win the West once playoffs begin.
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