The Los Angeles Lakers have hit an extremely rough patch in their championship defense season. They lost seven of their last 10 going into the All-Star break, dropping them to 24-13, good enough for third in the Western Conference.
Lakers veteran Jared Dudley — who is known for his honesty with the media and within the locker room — expressed some of the issues going on with the team. While the losses of key players like Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and Dennis Schroder have been difficult to deal with, Dudley believes the struggles are more attributable to fatigue.
Because of this, he said with five games to go that players were looking forward to the All-Star break.
“First things first, I would say guys are definitely excited the All-Star break is coming up. I would be lying if I didn’t say that. Guys are definitely looking forward to that.”
While that’s not the ideal thing for fans to hear, Dudley was simply being honest that the team was tired. After a short offseason and an incredible start to the season, they seemed to be running out of gas and welcomed the break.
Luckily, this is happening now instead of May when the playoffs begin. Them being fatigued now gives them time to recalibrate and figure things out before the postseason arrives. They’ll simply need to rely on their depth to keep them afloat in the meantime.
One thing that will be important is staying in shape during the break though, which Frank Vogel already talked to his team about.
Morris believes break will benefit Lakers mentally and physically
Lakers forward Markieff Morris recently agreed with Dudley’s sentiment, stating that the break will benefit the Lakers both mentally and physically.
“I think both, man,” Morris said. “I think mentally it is definitely going to be a great break for all of us. I don’t think any of us has played basketball this much. You never really get a break, even on days off you have to test twice a day or we’re flying or doing something.
“Mentally you never really get a break from basketball. I think we played this whole month without having two days off. Probably twice the whole year we’ve had two days off. That’s new to all of us. I’m mentally drained. I know a lot of guys on my team are mentally drained, but it’s not an excuse. We’ll have six or seven days off to regroup to prepare for the second half of the season. Just get our rest.”
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