The NBA restart in Orlando is about to get underway with seeding games, and the league wasted no time matching up two of the best teams in the Western Conference as the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers will square off on Opening Night this Thursday.
The Lakers and Clippers have played each other three times this season, with the latter winning the first two. The Clippers won the season opener and again on Christmas Day, then the Lakers returned the favor in the third matchup in March just before the league shut down.
While the fourth matchup should be a fun one to watch, there isn’t much as stake as the Lakers hold a 5.5-game lead for the top seed in the Western Conference. With all games being played in empty gyms inside the Walt Disney World bubble, there isn’t really any type of home-court advantage.
Additionally, it appears that some key players won’t be able to play. Both the Lakers and Clippers have been waiting on their full rosters to get to Orlando. Clippers guard Lou Williams recently left the bubble for personal reasons, although rapper Jack Harlow posted a picture of himself and Williams at Magic City, a famous strip club and restaurant in Atlanta.
That forced the league to investigate the matter, and according to protocol, they announced he must quarantine himself for 10 days upon returning to the bubble, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Clippers’ Lou Williams will have 10-day quarantine on Orlando campus after picking up food at Magic City on excused absence — sidelining him through first two seeding games — NBA says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 26, 2020
While Williams was wearing a mask in the photo and has been getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) every day, it was still irresponsible for him to go out like that and potentially put himself and his teammates in danger.
Caruso skips sister’s wedding to remain in bubble
On the other end of the spectrum, Lakers guard Alex Caruso recently had an opportunity to leave the bubble for personal reasons as his sister was getting married in Texas, although he decided to skip it to remain in Orlando with his teammates.
With Avery Bradley not joining the Lakers in Orlando and Rajon Rondo going down with an injury, L.A. is counting on big minutes from Caruso in their backcourt if they want to win the championship.
It is good to see that he and the rest of the Lakers players are taking the bubble situation seriously, and hopefully everyone in the league can learn from Williams’ mistake to avoid it happening again.
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