The Los Angeles Lakers — along with the Miami Heat — are now tied for the shortest offseason in American sports history, getting just under two months between winning the championship and the first preseason game.
For players like Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma, who are younger and have less mileage in the NBA, this may not be a huge deal. But for LeBron James, it makes a massive difference. The Lakers have already suggested they will closely monitor James and others to start the season, perhaps playing in fewer games or reduced minutes each night.
However, Caruso appears ready for the new season to begin, as he wants to see the work he did in the offseason translate to the games. That stems from Caruso actually having found some benefit in the shortened offseason.
“I kind of think it’s just the same thing I’ve always done. Keep trying to find ways to get better, keep trying to find ways to impact the game that other people can’t,” he said.
“I honestly feel there is a little bit of positive to take from this. Us and the Heat have had the shortest amount of time off between playing meaningful games and games where you have to be on your Ps and Qs, be locked in and ready to play.
“I think that’s helped me. Even when I’ve played a little pickup and going through some skill work, I just feel like I’ve had better carryover from last season to now than I have in previous seasons with my summer workouts because there was a shortened time. From that aspect I’m a little excited about getting back and playing.
“As far as improving and seeing what I can do, it’s always the same stuff for me. I think I can get better in every area. I don’t think there’s one or two that I need to point out or make the focus. I think it’s just an overall thing for me.”
Caruso also believes that having less time off means it’ll be easier to get back into game shape, something that might hurt the teams who have been out since March. “I think that’s maybe the only advantage coming out from having the shortest amount of rest, is that we were the team that played the longest and has played most recently,” he explained.
“I think that’s going to help us. Vice versa, getting the bodies back to where they need to be, I took a couple weeks of just not doing a lot. Maybe lifting a couple times a week, maybe one workout for the first couple of weeks after we won the championship. Just to get wrist back, knees, get everything back to equilibrium and where it needs to be for me to get back to work.”
Caruso is only 26 and is entering just his second full NBA season, so of course he’s more likely to feel this way. As for the likes of James, Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews, who are over 34 and have been in the league for well over a decade, rest is important.
LeBron predicts Kyle Kuzma will take leap this season
Perhaps due to the fact that Kuzma is younger and will maybe get more playing time at the beginning of the season in order for veterans to limit their minutes, James has high hopes for for the fourth-year forward.
James took to social media to state his case that Kuzma will be a player who has a massive leap this season.
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