After a 26-win season, the young Los Angeles Lakers are planning on turning some heads this year. With a number of additions made this summer, Luke Walton’s team has been hard at work getting ready for a new year and developing chemistry amongst themselves.
The Lakers boast four rookies in Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Thomas Bryant as well as a couple of veterans added in Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Those players, along with returning Lakers such as Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr have been taking part in some serious scrimmages at the practice facility.
With training camp just days away, Walton wants to make sure his team is healthy going into the season. As such, Lopez revealed that Walton has had to shut down the practice gym at times this offseason, via Bill Oram of the OC Register:
The player-run workouts and scrimmages have been so regular and intense that, with the season approaching, Coach Luke Walton has had to insist that players take some days off to allow their bodies to recover.
“He’s had to close the gym off a few times,” Lopez said, “just to keep people from coming in, just officially locking up, no one’s allowed in.”
This is great to see on multiple levels. Walton is making sure that his players don’t overtrain and become tired once the real games start. At the same time, the fact that the team is working so hard that Walton needs to tell them to calm down is a great sign.
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka spoke before the summer about ensuring that the Lakers have the right kind of players in their organization and this is exactly what they meant. Everyone is trying to be at their best for the start of the season and Walton is making sure they will be.