The Los Angeles Lakers got to the Walt Disney World bubble one week ago and after passing the initial quarantine, finally got back to hitting the practice floor as a team.
With a few of practices under their belt, Anthony Davis admitted that the new setting is similar to training camp before a season begins.
“It’s kind of like a training camp. But the good thing about it is we don’t have to go over a lot of offensive and defensive things, because we kind of remember them from the season,” Davis said.
“But it’s kind of starting a training camp just for our bodies. Getting our bodies back to playing through contact, getting up and down the floor, and getting in basketball shape. It’s like a little training camp but at the same time you want to be smart, because you really don’t have a long season here.
“Where a training camp is at the start of a regular NBA season, you go through games and some guys are using the early part of the season to get in shape. This training camp, you kind of have to step on the gas a little bit more.”
The Lakers, like the rest of the teams in the bubble, have not played an official game in four months, so there is expected rust and lack of endurance when games resume at the end of July. The practices are a crucial time for each team as this will be their primary time to catch up and re-acclimate.
Davis’ level of play is undoubtedly going to be one of the deciding factors for Los Angeles’ championship hopes, so him being in shape and ready both physically and mentally will be key.
Fortunately for Davis and the Lakers, they not only have the benefit of team practices but scrimmages as well before playing seeding games.
Frank Vogel pleased with practices
With four months off, Vogel has had plenty of time to review tape of the Lakers and determine what the team needs to focus on ahead of the 2019-20 restart.
The primary concerns for the coaches was conditioning, and for good reason given the time off. However, Vogel thus far has been impressed with how his players look.
“The plan is that we’re beginning a marathon and we want to take it slow and at the right pace,” he said. “The takeaways were that guys overall are in pretty good shape. I’m not displeased with anyone in that regard and the work. We have a lot of time to get guys ready.
“What I was trying to get accomplished was to re-introduce their body to movements they probably haven’t done for four months: defensive slides, get their lateral muscles working, 94-feet sprinting and a lot of contact. All in short doses.
“Again, just to sort of re-introduce their bodies to it and begin to re-teach our fundamentals and habits. We had a good first day.”
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