Although the Los Angeles Lakers were dealt a critical blow Avery Bradley opting out of the NBA restart, Danny Green has embraced the prospect of taking on an increased role on the defensive end of the floor.
Having to take over Bradley’s defensive assignments while maintaining his contributions on offense will require Green to be in tip-top shape coming off the hiatus. Unfortunately, the restrictions placed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic offered up its own set of challenges for players while in quarantine.
This was especially true for the Lakers due to the extensive stay-at-home orders that were issued in L.A. County at the onset of the outbreak. Fortunately, they were able to participate individual workouts at their practice facilities leading up to their trip to the bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Despite the initial uncertainty surrounding the 2019-20 NBA season restart, Green said he made sure to not get too relaxed at home by maintaining his conditioning early on. “I’m pretty solid. I feel pretty good,” he said.
“I didn’t think we were going to be out that long, so about two weeks into the quarantine, I thought we’d be back within a month or so. So I started going in pretty hard from the start. Just running hills and running the beach. Time kept ticking but I would think we’re going to be back soon, so I stayed ready.
“The toughest thing is adapting to playing. You can’t simulate playing 5-on-5, but I’ve been getting some work and shooting. I feel pretty good. I’m probably around 80%. The other 20% is just getting up and down, going 5-on-5 to get in game shape. Outside of that I’m pretty solid.”
Green’s comments are certainly understandable considering there is no real substitute to replicate the feel and pace of a real basketball game. It is safe to assume that there will be a transitioning period for every team given the four-month layoff.
Frank Vogel pleased with Orlando practices
After Lakers players completed the quarantine process in Orlando, the team began holding full-fledge practices beginning Saturday. They practiced three days in a row before taking Tuesday off.
With the exception of Rajon Rondo suffering a fracture in his right hand, head coach Frank Vogel is pleased with what he’s seen thus far. “The first two practices have gone really well, aside from losing Rajon,” he said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of teaching or re-implementing our habits and a lot of drill work that carried over. We were doing some really good things that our guys picked back up very quickly. It gave me more reason to be optimistic and hopeful of what we can accomplish this year.
“We’re tough to score on, and when you have two elite offensive players and a great supporting cast, if you add a dominant defense to that, you’ve got a chance to do something special.”
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