Discussions are ramping up as the NBA continues to explore all possible options in regards to finishing out the 2019-20 season. For the Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Lakers, this means a chance to bring home the franchise’s 17th NBA championship.
Some practice facilities are already in the process of re-opening which is the first step starting the season back up, and teams could start having full practices soon.
It is still unclear whether the league would go straight into a playoffs or finish out the regular season beforehand, but Vogel is undoubtedly in the corner of getting as many games before the playoffs as possible.
In a recent interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers head coach spoke about the importance of having games before the playoffs, whether they’re actual regular-season games or some kind of exhibition contests:
“I think we need some games,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if they’d have to be regular-season games, in terms of finishing the season. Maybe they’re exhibition games, you know what I mean, that you treat as sort of your dress rehearsal or whatever.
In addition to helping teams get into true basketball game shape, Vogel stressed the importance of player health as his reasoning:
“I think for the health of the league and for the health of everyone involved, the more we can get in for our league and our fans, the better. So I think if there’s a way to get regular-season games in, that would be great, but safety’s going to be the top priority. But the biggest thing for me is that there’s got to be at least some exhibition games, which I think there would be.”
Players are surely doing everything they can to stay in shape, but most simply don’t have the access to what team training facilities can provide.
Additionally, there is simply no substitute for getting up and down the court, and rushing players back to full speed, high-intensity games before they’re able to get in the right shape is a recipe for injuries, which is what Vogel wants to avoid for his Lakers.
Everyone is hopeful that this season will be finished and Frank Vogel and the Lakers are at or near the top of the list. But Vogel also understands the dangers of rushing back on the floor and isn’t willing to risk the health of his players to do so, which is the sign of a great coach.