The 2019-20 NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus and so far, no set plans to resume basketball have been determined.
It is an evolving situation that has swept the nation and the league office and owners are still trying to figure out the next steps to ensure the safety of the players and team personnel. As things currently stand, it could be months before games are back to being played.
The stoppage in play is truly unfortunate for the Los Angeles Lakers because they had separated themselves as one of the few championship contenders heading into April. LeBron James seemed to be playing at his peak while the rest of the roster was gelling and performing on both ends of the floor.
In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, head coach Frank Vogel tried to remain optimistic but admitted that the hiatus was bad timing for the Lakers:
“Yeah, it’s disappointing. Obviously, when you’re going well you wanna keep going. When you’re struggling, that’s when you don’t. You need a break, you need a change, something to break things up a little bit. But you really try to have a mindset as a team to focus solely on what we can control. This is something that’s not controllable by us, so we’re gonna make the best of a difficult situation and hopefully– obviously, there’s no timelines or no idea what the end result’s gonna look like for the season. But we’re hopeful that we’re able to resume at some point if it’s safe for the world for us to resume and hopefully have a chance to finish what we started. But all of that’s gonna play out in the coming months.”
Momentum and rhythm are crucial for any team, so seeing the season end so abruptly presents a unique challenge for Los Angeles when or if the regular season does resume. While some might argue the time off allows players to get some much-needed physical rest, staying in game shape is equally important as there is no way to substitute playing basketball.
Even if the NBA decides that it is safe enough to play games again, it is unclear how much time everyone will need to get acclimated. Some players have already voiced their concerns about being able to properly ramp up to game speed, so it will be interesting to see how the league navigates that issue.