The Los Angeles Lakers have encountered multiple instances of adversity during the 2019-20 season, but they have seemingly overcome them and now appear ready to make a deep postseason run.
Aside from the mental fatigue that comes with playing in the bubble, the Lakers also found themselves embroiled in serious discussions as to whether or not the playoffs should continue. Emotions have been all over the place since the Jacob Blake shooting, prompting numerous players to question whether or not playing is the right thing to do right now.
Ultimately, the NBA and NBPA agreed on resuming play with the stipulation that the league and its board of governors take actionable steps toward fighting racial injustice. With so many things on their plate, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel decided it was best to make their first practice back an easy one.
“It was a heavy couple days,” Vogel began. “We have a PhD in handling adversity by now. We’ve been through a lot this year. I wanted to have a mentally light day, where we just really hit the floor and got right to playing, right to scrimmaging. I feel like it was good for our guys just to get back on the court.”
Vogel has been adamant that all the obstacles the purple and gold have had to endure up to this point has helped prepared them for the playoffs and, after the recent events, it will be interesting to see if the can bounce back once again.
Vogel on preparing for emotionally-charged games
The Lakers have been thrown several curveballs during the season, but so far the team has found ways to still get the job done on the court.
Los Angeles’s decision to sit out Game 5 with the rest of the teams in the bubble was a monumental moment in sports history and the players have been tirelessly working with the league since to ensure that action comes out of their strike.
Ahead of their rescheduled matchup, Vogel explained how he is able to get the roster ready. “You just have to have a good feel for it,” he said. “[Friday] was a mentally light day.
“We didn’t do a lot of thinking, a lot of scripting, running through a thousand plays and all those types of things. It was just let’s throw the ball up and let these guys scrimmage some. The preparation would’ve been different probably on a normal day before a playoff game.
“We’ll probably be a little lighter than usual for [Saturday], knowing that we’ve already played these guys four times. That’s how it could be slightly different. Our guys, once they hit the court, they’ve been super locked in and focused all year long. No matter what the circumstance, no matter what adversity throughout the year we’ve been facing.”
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