The NBA restart has all but officially arrived as the first set of scrimmage games begin Thursday, and the eight seeding games slated to tip off next week. In regards to the actual playing environment, the league has finalized the appearance of courts on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
For both scrimmages and seeding games, teams will rotate between playing in The Arena, HP Field House and Visa Athletic Center. The Arena is considered the main hub, and where reporters were given a tour of.
The Los Angeles Lakers will not be playing any of their scrimmages in The Arena, but are scheduled to do so for seeding games against the L.A. Clippers (July 30), Toronto Raptors (Aug. 1), Utah Jazz (Aug. 3), Houston Rockets (Aug. 6) and Denver Nuggets (Aug. 10).
For Anthony Davis, he and the rest of his teammates have been making the most of their bubble experience and he was pleased with how the court came together.
“I think it’s pretty cool how they have the big monitors so you can have family, friends, fans, whoever, kind of be in the arena,” he said. “I think that’s a pretty dope idea. I know they’re still trying to figure out some things as far as lighting and the sounds, but I think the whole concept of it is pretty dope.”
Here is the NBA restart court in Orlando: the spaced out chairs are the socially distanced bench, Black Lives Matter is written on the court. pic.twitter.com/XGJu1w4QLC
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 21, 2020
Because of the players’ inability to go out of the bubble, they will have opportunities to watch other teams play and Davis left open the possibility of sitting in on games.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I’ve got to look at the schedule to seeing who’s playing and stuff like that. There’s not much to do here, so to go and watch other teams, scout a little bit, I might end up doing it.”
Danny Green, meanwhile, believes it will likely take a moment to adjust to the new courts and arenas but did not seem too concerned about it.
It’s a #WholeNewGame.
Scrimmages begin tomorrow (7/22) through Tuesday (7/28) and will air on NBA League Pass and NBA TV! The NBA Restart begins on July 30 with games all day and night. pic.twitter.com/AiZeCksoSG
— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2020
“I haven’t seen the setup; I think they’re giving us an opportunity to see it tonight. I hear it’s pretty unique,” Green said. “Regardless of the court setup, I think most of us have played in many different arenas and can adapt and adjust to it. Hopefully sooner than later. It will probably take us a couple games to get used to it, but I haven’t seen the setup, so I can’t really say.”
Frank Vogel allowing players to watch other games in bubble
When it comes to life in the NBA’s bubble, the players seem to be adapting well.
The NBA has provided several amenities and activities for people to partake in, with more reportedly set to become available in a scheduled rollout. However, live games will likely be the most interesting thing to happen on campus as teams who are not scheduled to play will get an opportunity to watch games.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said earlier in the month he is not monitoring how players spend their free time. That applies to potentially attending games.
“I have no problem with our guys going to watch games (but) I don’t think it’s necessary,” Vogel said. Sometimes it’s better to watch it on TV, because you get different angles, close-ups and whatnot.
“For me, with our team, I’m completely leaving it up to them. If they want to see zero games during the bubble, that’s fine. If they want to see games every night, I have no problem with that either.”
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