The Los Angeles Lakers can not seem to catch a break this calendar year as they are potentially looking at an earlier start to the 2020-21 season than most originally had anticipated.
The Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship on Oct. 11 after nearly 100 days in the Orlando bubble, but the league is pushing for a Dec. 22 start to the upcoming season. Under the proposed plan, this would give the Lakers only about seven weeks of rest before training camp around Dec. 1.
For a veteran-laden team, the proposed start date would put them at a clear disadvantage, and players like LeBron James would need to pace themselves even more than usual to prevent against any potential injuries.
Luckily, the Lakers do have a younger superstar in Anthony Davis — once he presumably is re-signed — who could keep the team afloat during the early stretch of games.
In appearance on HBO’s “The Shop” Barack Obama suggested James defer to his costar until the postseason:
LeBron: “The first half of the season, I’m cherry-picking the whole first half of the season”
Obama: “Hey, you’ve got to save yourself for when it counts.”
LeBron: “Yes sir.”
Obama: “Let Anthony Davis do all of the work, man.”
LeBron: “Yup, that’s what we got him for.”
Although Obama’s quip was not to be taken seriously, it does speak to the possibility that James could indeed look to Davis to shoulder most of the offensive burden. Davis showed in this past postseason run that he is able to handle more responsibility and the 2020-21 season could be the year he takes another leap.
However, it is possible that L.A. could be afforded more time to rest as there is reportedly a substantial group of players who are against the earlier start date. The players seem to be in favor of a January start around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the league would only consider it if the season is around 50 games in order to preserve the summer.
Whatever is decided, it would be in the James and the Lakers’ best interest to lean on Davis and make sure they get to the playoffs in one piece.
Davis poised to elevate game
After winning his first ring, Davis appears ready to show the basketball world that he is capable of even more.
The defensive clinic he put on throughout the postseason was nothing short of dominant, but his scoring talents were put on display in each series as no team had an answer for him. Assuming he picks up where he left off, Davis would be in store for an MVP-caliber season, a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.
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