The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered a couple of significant blows ahead of the NBA restart officially tipping off at Walt Disney World, as Avery Bradley opted out and Rajon Rondo suffered a fracture in his right thumb during practice.
The loss of such key, rotational players means those filling in will be tasked with taking on increased roles on both ends of the floor. This once again brings one of head coach Frank Vogel’s primary concerns to the forefront as far as conditioning goes.
The restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic offered up its own set of challenges for players trying to stay in shape during quarantine. This was especially true for the Lakers given the extensive stay-at-home orders that were placed in L.A. County during the initial outbreak.
While Vogel was admittedly impressed with what he saw from the players during their individual workouts at the practice facility, he acknowledged that there is still some work to be done leading up to the season restart on July 30.
Danny Green is optimistic the Lakers have more than enough time to get into game shape before the playoffs roll around. “I think for most guys who don’t get out of shape, it only takes about two or three weeks to get back in game shape,” he said.
“They gave us two or three weeks of practices and scrimmages here, and then two weeks after that of playing games, so I think we should be ready. It’s more than enough time (to prepare) for playoffs.”
Kyle Kuzma is among the players who made sure to take full advantage of the extra time off by getting back to 100% both physically and mentally. He is also encouraged by what he has seen from the team in the bubble.
“I think we’ve had some pretty good practices so far. Guys did a good job over the break just trying to maintain their conditioning and body levels. I think we’ve been clicking a little bit throughout these first few days,” Kuzma said.
Vogel keeping with measured approach
Prior to and since the Lakers arrived in the NBA bubble, Vogel made it clear the team would take a cautious approach with building players back up to speed. The team has held practices that include a scrimmage, but also been given regular days off.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!