Lakers: 3 biggest questions for Los Angeles going into the NBA restart
The return of the 2019-20 NBA season has gotten complicated over the past couple of weeks. It has by no means been an easy process, especially after the league approved 22 teams playing in Orlando, Florida, which is supposed to get underway late next month with the Los Angeles Lakers gearing up for a potentially long playoff run.
With so many concerns surrounding this restart of the season, there are many questions to be addressed about safety, but once those are answered, the next step will be teams like the Lakers preparing to contend for an NBA title.
Although every team involved in the resumption of the season will have a lot of questions to be answered about their squad, the Lakers have a lot on the line as the possible favorite to come out of the Western Conference. They will need to think about these three concerns moving forward.
3. Should The Lakers Add To Their Roster?
With rosters for all 22 teams having the ability to expand to 17 players, the Lakers may want to take advantage and bolster an already talented squad for what will be an unpredictable situation in Orlando over the next few months.
Injuries will be a major concern for every player that participates in the return of the 2019-20 campaign young or old. No player has experienced this kind of unusual situation of going from a season in full swing to a dead stop and potentially not having the facilities for training and staying in shape over the past three months. The Lakers will have some time to get back to form, but no one knows what will have once real games get back underway.
With the Lakers having some older veterans with an injury history like Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Dwight Howard along with younger players that have been banged up from time to time like Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles could start to see player dropping like flies when play resumes.
That being said, it makes a lot of sense for this team to fill out their roster with some proven veterans ready to play. Some that might be available include DeMarcus Cousins, Nick Young, Jamal Crawford, and J.R. Smith. All of them have playoff experience and can be a threat on the floor with the ball in their hand.
2. Will Rust Play A Factor?
Any time to take three months off from doing anything in life that you are used to doing, there is going to be a fair amount of rust. Not only would there be rust regardless of the activity, but this is NBA basketball we are talking about with the best players in the world competing for a title.
It would be safe to assume that the first few weeks of play will be fairly brutal to watch. Players will be out of shape with their conditioning likely nowhere near where they want it to be regardless of having some time to prepare before heading to Walt Disney World in July.
Rust will definitely play a factor once games begin, but the real question is which teams and players haven’t been slacking off during this hiatus. There could very well be some teams and players that surprise a lot of people once play resumes as they could very well be ahead of the curve in terms of conditioning.
The Lakers will almost certainly see a ready LeBron James and Anthony Davis in July, but whether the rest of the team has followed suit, remains to be seen.
1. Who Will Join The Team In Orlando?
The biggest question for the Lakers and the rest of the league for that matter will be which players will not be joining their teams in Orlando. The Lakers have two in particular that are not crazy about the idea of getting back on the floor with many concerns in this country from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has taken a drastic turn following the recent murder of George Floyd.
Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard have been vocal in their opposition to the resumption of the NBA season. They both voiced their opinion on a call with the players and the league recently. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that both Bradley and Howard and potentially more players on the Lakers squad don’t join the team when required to head to Florida.
Only time will tell whether the Lakers will have their full squad when it comes time to head to the East Coast as things appear to change on a daily basis with this situation. Even if the team is without Bradley, Howard, and potentially others, Los Angeles is still in an excellent position to come out on top in the end with the Larry O’Brien Trophy being hoisted by LeBron in October.