Lakers brace for the ‘bubble,’ but say they’re prepared

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWhile the Lakers have said they’re prepared to play, they’re also prepared for new setbacks, obstacles and spins that could add to the whiplash of an already topsy-turvy season. That requires a slightly more resilient mindset – which the players are working on in different ways.Kyle Kuzma, who had daily runway walks in his house while under quarantine to replicate his pregame fashion statements, said he’s packing just one bag of clothes and one bag of shoes for a playoff run that could potentially last more than three months. He’s tried to hone in on the on-court aspect of the return to competition.“It means a lot and that’s why I’m taking this so serious,” he said. “Not many players have opportunities to win rings. I have a chance to do that in my third year and kind of really make moves in my career going forward. That’s important.”Howard’s Monday night commitment to join the team represents a big boost in that title chase. While Howard hadn’t officially told anyone that he was coming in the days leading up to the announcement, Green said he and other teammates who were in contact with him had a strong sense he would come aboard.The Lakers’ strong sense of chemistry before the hiatus is something Green knows will be critical to dust off as the season resets. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Every season has its ups and downs, its wild twists and its doldrums. But usually, Danny Green said, you can see where you’re going.The Lakers have run the gamut this year on unprecedented events beyond their control: a tense political situation in China; dealing with the deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant; and now trying to restart a stalled season in a pandemic. In one sense, Green thinks, the team that can best handle the unforeseen may have the best shot at winning a championship in this campaign like no other.“It’s very much a mystery,” the Lakers guard said. “It’s kind of been like a roller coaster in a cave that you don’t know where it’s going to end or how it’s going to end or where you’re going to.”As they prepare to depart Thursday for Walt Disney World Resort, the Lakers are feeling anxiety that is common throughout the league. Green described the many pages of health restrictions as not “the most exciting thing to look forward to.” He even thought Dwight Howard’s CNN revelation that he would join the Lakers in Orlando had a leaden ring to it: “I have a contractual obligation.” “We’ll be able to chop it up and I’m sure guys will social-distance gamble or have stories to tell or catch up six feet,” he said. “We’ll see how that goes.”While only a limited amount of video has emerged from the Lakers’ individual workouts, players and coaches have insisted they are physically prepared. Green estimated he was “80 percent” of game-ready shape, a gap which he thinks will be bridged when 5-on-5 work is allowed. Kuzma, who dealt with an ankle injury earlier in the season, said the break allowed him to fully heal.Related Articles Mentally, Green hopes experience is an edge – not only on the court, but off it. The restrictive nature of the Disney campus could test the most restless among the NBA playing ranks, but he believes the Lakers have a more mature composition.“At this point, we’re as ready as we’re possibly ever going to be to be in that type of atmosphere, but our team has an advantage because we have older guys, guys that like to be themselves; stay at home; they have families; that have done the partying,” he said. “So we’re easily I think ahead of the pack when it comes to guys that can sit still and stay at home and not have to worry about being on the scene or doing a bunch of stuff outside the house, so hopefully that helps us to our advantage.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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