The Los Angeles Lakers have been back at work at their practice facility in preparation for traveling to Orlando, Florida, for the NBA restart at Walt Disney World.
Thankfully, head coach Frank Vogel’s squad hasn’t been one of the teams forced to shut down due to positive tests, but workouts have remained limited to an individual basis. This is not ideal for any team, but Vogel and the Lakers are making the best out of it.
“It’s been great,” Vogel said during a conference call. “Obviously it’s an imperfect time and we’re still limited with what we can do with regards to individual workouts only. But our coaches are working these guys hard and just trying to raise that floor — wherever it’s going to be when we begin in Orlando.”
It is important for these players to be in the best shape possible, not only for the betterment of the Lakers, but also for their own well-being. “We just want it to be as high as possible to minimize the risk of injury and further the conditioning along as much as we can,” Vogel added.
Injuries can completely derail a championship push and the risk is even higher for players after being forced to sit out for months and then come back and start playing full speed games on relatively short notice. The Lakers are already shorthanded with Avery Bradley opting out, so any injuries at this stage would be completely devastating.
But Vogel and the Lakers coaching staff are doing pushing the team during these individual workouts and making the most of the situation at hand. “I think it’s really useful,” Vogel said.
“When guys have been away for so long, every day that you’re in the gym you get a chance to move the needle with your conditioning and getting your legs under you. Like I said, our coaches have been pushing these guys.”
Getting the team as prepared as they can before they travel to Orlando on Thursday is extremely important. The Lakers will need to be at their best to win a championship, and Vogel has his team taking all the necessary steps. There is a balance that must be struck before the Lakers are able to come together for full practices in Orlando and Vogel is doing just that.
“Not overdoing it, but pushing their conditioning, getting a lot of shots up, getting their reps back to where they were throughout the season,” he explained.
“All the work they’re doing this week just strengthens our ability to hit the ground running when we big next week. The full contact stuff is still going to be taken slow, but the work we’re doing this week I think really has strong value.”
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