The Los Angeles Lakers and other teams needed time to adapt to the unusual setting of the NBA bubble which affected everything from their mindset, to practice time, to personal routines.
Among the adjustments is the lack of travel for those participating in the NBA restart. Since every game takes place in the bubble, players, coaches and staff members can go straight to their hotel rooms after they are done for the day instead of traveling to a different city for another game.
But the timings of games have changed too, with L.A. usually occupying the prime TV slot at 9 p.m. ET. While the elimination of travel would in theory be a boon for a veteran team — especially during the playoffs — late tipoffs for the Lakers have in some sense negated that.
“It’s not ideal. It’s like we’re traveling,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “You get back to your hotel room at one in the morning, stay up until three or later, and you’ve got to figure out how to get productive work done in practice the next day.
“Difference is it’s like you’re playing every game in a playoff series and traveling after the game, so it’s part of our challenge. We encourage trying to work on the best sleep schedule possible within the environment.”
LeBron explains ‘built different’
In the Game 2 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, LeBron James was seen cheering on his teammates in a curious way. The three-time NBA champion was shouting the Lakers are “built different” as they were dominating the Blazers to tie the series.
And after the game, the 16-time All-Star explained he came up with the mantra to remind his teammates what they have been through this season, and what they are still capable of. “I really don’t compare us to anybody else in the league,” he said.
“It’s not what everybody else does, it’s not the time everyone has put in, I just know what type of season we’ve had this year. It feels like it’s been three or four different seasons. I know what we’re capable of, I know how we’re built, and I don’t compare us to anyone.
“I compare us to us. I direct that to every one of our players because it’s not about our mindset.”
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