Before the NBA season got shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Los Angeles Lakers were arguably the hottest team in the league. They comfortably held the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference after back-to-back wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers.
Unfortunately, all of their momentum has come to a halt with the rest of the season on hold for more than two months. The NBA has begun talking about a return with Walt Disney World Resort in Florida potentially hosting all games, although the format of the rest of the regular-season and postseason is not yet known.
Regardless, the Lakers will have to find a way to regain what they had pre-coronavirus, which won’t be easy considering they haven’t had a chance to play or practice together much during the time off. LeBron James has reportedly worked out with teammates separately, but there have been no official team practices or activities.
Because the Lakers are a team with several new pieces in place, Danny Green said in an interview on ESPN’s “First Take” that he believes they will be one of the teams hurt the most by all of this time off:
“It’s a real big disadvantage. We were playing really good basketball, we were rolling, rotating, had good chemistry, and we need that. We don’t have, like most teams in the league, four 20-point scorers on our team. We have guys that are capable, but not consistently scoring 20 a game, like the Clippers do. So a break like this can definitely hurt us. Hopefully we can get back into the gym sooner than later and get the ball rolling again.
“The team that wins the waiting game and stays in shape the best or the most, is the team that has the best chance. And I don’t doubt our guys. I think our guys are still in the gym, finding ways to work out. We have some good vets that are taking it serious; they know the opportunity at hand. I think we’re going to be OK in terms of bouncing back in game shape as soon as we can, and we’ll be fine once things get back and rolling.”
There is some truth to what Green is saying, although the time off will also have some advantages as well with the Lakers having so many veterans on their roster.
While some people believe this year’s championship will have an asterisk on it due to the circumstances, all of the teams will be in the same boat when basketball returns, so it’s hard to argue that whoever wins it all won’t be deserving, especially if it’s the Lakers.