LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers have not gotten nearly that same amount of time to recover as other teams in the NBA. Having just played in the NBA Finals on October 11th, 72 days later, the Lakers are set to play the Los Angeles Clippers.
The eight teams that were not invited to the NBA Playoff bubble, will have had 286 days to rest and train for the upcoming NBA season. With the rest between games being considered as a factor more and more in NBA players’ health throughout the season, the difference between 286 days and 77 is massive.
LeBron was very aware of this when he sat down for an interview with ESPN yesterday. The reigning NBA Finals MVP said that it’s been an issue that the Lakers have already considered (0:29 in the video below).
“For the time that we’ve had, which hasn’t been that much I feel like we’ve put in the work and have gotten better. Obviously, we’re not where we want to be long term but that’s absolutely okay because that’s you know, it’s a long season, it’s a long journey.”
The regular season remains lengthy, at 72 games, the Lakers will probably utilize the schedule to rest, recover and train. Realistically, this would result in seeing periodic load management across the Lakers roster. LeBron in addition to key pieces like Anthony Davis might take more games off this season than they have in the past. LeBron and AD only played 2 of LA’s 4 preseason games, playing substantial minutes in the very last game against the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron is going to turn 36 in less than 2 weeks, the King has still been going strong but the circumstances of COVID may dictate otherwise. Rested or not, the Lakers are still considered the heavy favorites to win the 2020-21 NBA Finals.