Dudley acknowledged the complexities of the bubble in Orlando, but ultimately, he’s excited to go, and excited for the opportunity to chase a championship. He thinks the NBA is doing everything possible to make it as safe as possible.
Frank Vogel said that narrowing the traveling group to the mandated 35 people was “fairly miserable.” Ultimately, they went heavy on the medical staff (especially given the long layoff) and players (taking 17), meaning a shortage on the coaching staff from what would be ideal.
Frank Vogel on what seeing LeBron and AD in the building working out does for him: “Excitement and confidence ... watching them work, and seeing what they’re capable of doing, it gives me a great deal of confidence about what we’re about to endure.”
* @AntDavis23 on Orlando: “I think everybody would be mindful of following the rules. I don’t think no one wants to get COVID - (hopefully) guys won’t put themselves or other players/staff in jeopardy. The NBA is doing as much as they can to keep the bubble as safe as possible."
AD has missed 8 games with: sore right shoulder (1); ankle sprain (1); gluteus maximus contusion (5); right knee soreness (1). He said the hiatus has "given me a chance to let my body recover ... let everything heal, get back to like how I was at the beginning of the year."
AD on the new Lakers: “Markieff (Morris) showed he can be a big part of our team; Dion (Waiters) and JR (Smith) are gonna help us tremendously as well, with JR’s ability to shoot, and Dion’s ability to score and playmake. It’s going to be beneficial for us going to Orlando."
AD on playing without fans: “It’s going to be more of a mental thing than anything. If you’re having a bad game, there’s not going to be fans there to get you going. As we say on the team, you gotta bring your own energy … we’re motivated as a team, and self-motivated to win.”
AD on LAL’s championship chances: "I think it’s kind of the same. Obviously we’ll miss (Avery Bradley), but we have guys that are healthy, guys that are ready to go. Actually I think our chances are higher because we’re all rested. It’s going to be who wants it more."
AD has no hesitations about playing in Orlando. On one hand, he thinks the Lakers have a chance to win a championship, and he also thinks socially, the NBA community is “stronger together,” and can impact/effect change with a united front.
There’s a conference call with @AntDavis23 right now. He said one benefit of the layoff between games has been that he is “100 percent healthy,” that he was able to rest various minor injuries he’d been dealing with. He feels great right now.
From yesterday’s article: The Lakers are 17-3 when KCP starts for Avery Bradley this season. Bradley missed 18 games from Nov. 15 – Dec. 22 due to a hairline fracture (15-3), plus a game in Nov. (at Chicago) and one in January (at OKC).
Frank Vogel on the whole situation in Orlando with the NBA’s return: “There’s definitely challenges, but I really want to commend Adam Silver and the league office … I’m comfortable with the format, I’m looking forward to competing in it with our guys.”
Frank Vogel on Dwight Howard: "We’ve been in communication with Dwight the whole way. We don’t know what the level of participation is yet. He wants to play. We’re hopeful he’s able to join us. We’re hopeful and optimistic that he’ll be able to join us in Orlando.”
Frank Vogel said the Lakers will “compete to win” in the eight seeding games, while acknowledging that they have the luxury to be “cautious” with players minutes and health, given the 5.5 game lead they built in the Western Conference.
@ACFresh21 Caruso mentioned how close-knit the Lakers have been all season, and cited socially-distanced dinners and card games as likely activities, and added: “It doesn’t take a lot for this team to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company, so I’m sure we’ll find something to do.”
@ACFresh21 Caruso said the biggest challenge in Orlando will be to get back up to speed physically after all the time off. For LAL, "The mental part for our team is going to be easier just because we have such a heady and basketball-smart team, basketball-IQ led team and coaching staff."
@ACFresh21 … But for those: “This team has done a great job this year when guys have been out, of stepping up and filling a role or a need.” For example, KCP can fill the role in certain shooting actions, and Caruso can do several other things well.
@ACFresh21 Caruso said there are parts of Avery Bradley’s game he feels like he can step in and be ready to do “a good job of", i.e. as a supplementary ballhandler and defender. There are a few actions LAL run for Bradley (mid-range pull-ups/floaters) that Caruso said aren’t his strength...