The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping the All-Star break will help them come out of the crisis they grappled with in recent weeks.
L.A. dropped seven out of the last 10 games that concluded the first part of the 2020-21 season. LeBron James took a night off for the first time this year missing the 123-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings due to an ankle injury. Marc Gasol also sat out the game as coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols forced another Laker into quarantine.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis remains out with Achilles and calf injuries with the forward still expected to be reevaluated after four weeks on the sidelines. Considering the circumstances, head coach Frank Vogel thinks his players are looking forward to the eight-day break.
“Yeah, they’re going to meet with the sports performance team to talk about not deconditioning too much, but making sure they’re getting the appropriate rest,” he said.
“Eight days does feel like a long time, for me in particular it feels that way, but I think our group is welcoming this break.”
Vogel says the Lakers will take extra care to make sure the break won’t mess up the team’s fitness levels. “We’re only going to have one practice before we start playing games again, so the not deconditioning and the making sure that guys are able to get appropriate work in the two or three days leading up to our return, that’s an important part of this break here,” he said.
“But definitely a welcome break for all of us.”
Vogel: Kings defeat ‘hurt’ Lakers
The absence of three Lakers starters provided L.A. with mitigating circumstances on the night of the loss to Sacramento.
However, Vogel revealed the atmosphere turned gloomy in the locker room following the game. “Guys are hurt, they’re hurting,” he said. “They competed their tails off. They fought hard enough to get a win and the ball bounces on the rim three times, with the game on the line we have a couple putbacks that were there, just weren’t able to close it out.
“Our guys wanted to win this game very badly and they’re disappointed.”
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