While getting accustomed to living in the bubble environment at Walt Disney World has presented its own set of challenges for players, it is particularly true for JaVale McGee.
There had been some initial concern regarding whether or not McGee would join the Los Angeles Lakers in Orlando, Florida, due to having asthma. The respiratory condition made him a high-risk subject to develop symptoms from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Fortunately, McGee has since embraced all the amenities the trip has had to offer and even started his own video series on YouTube, “Life in the Bubble.” He has been able to provide an inside look at how the players are spending their free time along with some intriguing clips of practice.
Although McGee has acclimated well up to this point, he admitted to having some reservations, but that was family related. “I feel like the first thing that weighed in the most was being away from my family for two months. That was the main thing,” McGee said.
“Second was definitely my asthma. Didn’t want anything to happen with that. But I’ve been so focused all year on one goal and that’s winning an NBA championship. If I go through how I’ve been my whole life, I have asthma and could’ve quit then.
“I feel like I’ve just got to keep going. That’s the best thing for me, is to keep focusing on what I can control right now. The NBA has taken a lot of precautions when it comes to COVID, everything that they’re doing is top notch, so I feel pretty safe.”
McGee’s commitment provided some relief during Dwight Howard’s initial uncertainty on going through with the season restart. Keeping their dominant frontcourt intact should serve as a stabilizing factor for the Lakers while they still evaluate the backcourt rotation amid the losses of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.
Lakers starters struggling as unit
Although the Lakers enjoyed their share of success throughout the season and have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, their starting lineup collectively has left plenty to be desired during seeding games. It’s led to calls for Anthony Davis to slide over to center.
“We’re just not shooting the ball that well, that’s a big part of it. I think they’re struggling to get into a rhythm early,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said. “I’ve been challenging them to play with more offensive pace. If we do that, I think we can get better shots on the offensive end, get a chance to set our defense.
“That unit has been a really strong defensive unit for us throughout the year. I think it’s just a matter of time.”
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