Teams around the NBA remain hopeful they will be able to finish the 2019-20 season despite the current spread of coronavirus, but there’s another element to consider amid the current stoppage: how much time will players need to get back into shape once they get the all clear? Although Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said NBA players have the ability to get back up to speed in short order, he also acknowledged the likelihood teams will need at least a week or two to prepare before resuming play.
Via Fred Katz of The Athletic:
“NBA players, they can miss six or seven weeks with an injury and have three or four practices and all of a sudden come out and get you 19 points and nine rebounds,” Brooks said. “But I don’t know the answer. We definitely need some time. … I would imagine a week to 10 days is probably the best that we would get. And hopefully we get that.”
Yes, these are professional athletes, but they are also susceptible to letdowns, which the Wizards coach understands.
This is an unprecedented time in society, and players are grappling with how best to take care of their bodies and remain in adequate shape.
Team facilities are closed, and some players have been unable to even shoot or work out at a consistent level, as was made clear by Milwaukee Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Moreover, these players cannot simply coordinate with teammates or travel as they remain in isolation.
Numerous logistical factors will have to be sorted out by league officials, including the amount of preparation necessary for teams to get back up to speed should they return to the floor.
If the NBA does come back, it’s unclear if there will be regular-season play or if the league will just go straight to the playoffs. Brooks’ Wizards entered the hiatus with a record of 24-40, which is 5.5 games behind the No. 8 seed.