After four months off, the Los Angeles Lakers will need to use their remaining practice time efficiently as the NBA restart is just around the corner.
The Lakers had been playing some of their basketball before the NBA suspended the regular season on March 11. At that point, Los Angeles had established itself atop the Western Conference standings and appeared poised to enter the 2020 NBA Playoffs with some serious momentum.
The team’s stellar play was ignited by LeBron James, who was exceeding even the most bullish expectations. Entering Year 17, there were some questions as to how he would look, especially after coming off the first serious injury of his career.
However, James proved any doubters wrong and looked much like his younger self. Under Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, James moved over to defacto point guard and had his best passing season yet, averaging 10.6 assists a game, a career-high that also led the league.
Los Angeles has been able to practice a few times since arriving to Orlando, during which time James has impressed. “Outstanding,” Vogel answered when asked to describe James’ play in practices.
“It’s really remarkable how well he’s been able to stay in shape, stay ready, to be sharp. It’s as if there wasn’t a layoff at all. He’s playing at a really high level.”
James has been lauded for his work ethic and dedication to his body, so it is no surprise that he came into the bubble ready to go from the start. There was plenty of concern about the players not having enough time to get back into shape, but it appears that the three-time champion made the most of his quarantine back in Los Angeles.
It is no secret that James is in the latter stages of his career, so this year is a rare opportunity to continue chasing titles. The Lakers’ championship aspirations live and die with James and he so far has been a man on a mission to capture his fourth ring.
Quinn Cook has seen same LeBron in Disney bubble
On the court, James has built a reputation as a basketball genius who is able to make the right read almost every time down the floor.
That type of intellect and skill is what makes him one of the best basketball players ever, but he has also been applauded as a model teammate and person off the floor. Quinn Cook said that he has not changed at all since getting to Orlando.
“He’s pretty much been the same ‘Bron here that he’s always been. Very outgoing, speaks to everybody, not just his team,” Cook said.
“Speaks to everybody in the league, security guards, everybody. A guy of that stature, a guy with that type of platform, doesn’t have to do that. But he makes everyone feel special. He’s always been the same since I’ve known him. Cares about everyone and one of the hardest workers you’ll ever see.
“He’s setting the tone for us not only on the court but off the court.”
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