After almost four months off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Los Angeles Lakers are beginning to ramp things back up for the resumption of the NBA season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
At 49-14, the Lakers easily held the top record in the Western Conference and were playing their best basketball all season when things got shut down. Although they were fresh off a loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers had just defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers in back-to-back games.
While the circumstances will be different in the Orlando “bubble,” the Lakers’ goal of winning the organization’s 17th championship remains.
The team will be headed East in the next week, but Wednesday marked their first official mandatory workout at their practice facility in El Segundo. The Lakers did not say who was in attendance due to privacy reasons, although video provided by the team showed LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso were in the gym.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was also in attendance, and he came away impressed with how his two stars looked after the long layoff. “Excitement and confidence, honestly,” he said of watching James and Davis.
“It’s something that you come in and you don’t expect what it’s going to feel like to see those guys, but watching them work and to see what they’re capable of doing, and just thinking back of where we were at. it gives me a great deal of confidence about what we’re about to endure in terms of going down to Orlando and closer to the playoff setting and into the playoffs, what we can accomplish. Just watching those guys work gives me a great deal of confidence.”
Davis shared a similar sense of confidence as his head coach, believing the time off to rest their bodies will actually increase their championship odds. Davis dealt with some minor injuries throughout the course of the season although now claims he is 100% healthy and ready to get back on the court.
When the Lakers arrive in Orlando they will be among the favorites to win the championship. They will have to play eight seeding games first though, which will give them an opportunity to work themselves back into game shape and get rid of all the rust before the postseason.
With leaders like James, Davis and Vogel, there is no doubt that the entire organization’s focus will be on one thing and that is coming home with the trophy.
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