Just shy of being 48 hours removed from checking in at Walt Disney World, the Los Angeles Lakers were cleared to hold their first team practice inside the Orlando bubble.
Other than confirming Dwight Howard met the team from Georgia and acknowledging Rajon Rondo was on the chartered flight and not an early arrival, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel declined to specify on the status of the 17-player roster.
“Still because of privacy concerns we’re not going to disclose the number of guys, or whether or not we have our full staff at this time,” Vogel said. “We’re going to continue to honor the testing protocols and just not disclose that.”
He spoke with media just prior to the Lakers hitting the court for their full-team practice. However, the session did not include Howard or Danny Green, who are both expected to be available Sunday, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times
Danny Green and Dwight Howard missed Lakers practice Saturday, Green because of a glitch in the coronavirus testing process and Howard who still has one more test to pass before clearing quarantine, according to people familiar with the situation.
Green and Howard are both expected to be able to join the team Sunday.
The NBA had previously outlined rules for players who were not in their team’s city and therefore didn’t fly on the chartered flight. That applied to Howard, who previously was said to be complying with all necessary testing protocols while in Georgia with his family.
Green’s availability will be all the more key for the Lakers in the wake of Avery Bradley opting out of participating in the NBA restart. Green said he was embracing the challenge of taking on a larger defensive role.
It is subject to change, but the Lakers are scheduled to begin practice in Orlando at 3 p.m. PT. Each team has a three-hour window to utilize the court they have been assigned to.
Frank Vogel striking a balance
Although the Lakers didn’t wind up having their complete roster and they were coming off a significant layoff, Vogel planned for a first practice that would push them physically.
“For me, they’ve been doing no-contact work for a few months. We want to get their bodies used to that again, so we’re going to get right after it,” he said. “It’s not going to be long but we will do live work today.
“The full-court work will be down and back, stop. So we’re not compromising their bodies too much but we are getting them used to playing 94 feet again. We do have a lot of time before our first scrimmage and even more time before our seeding games begin.”
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