Lakers focus on player health and injury prevention ahead of restart

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error For the time being, all of the Lakers’ work is focused on their bodies. Between the weight room, training room and court time, players have a lot to squeeze in roughly two-hour windows at the practice facility. Vogel said he prefers giving them more time now to spend with their families: The Lakers will dive more into film and group work when they arrive in Orlando and clear quarantine.Game-ready shape requires physicality, speed and reaction ability that Vogel said many players haven’t truly tested in months.“All those types of things have been dormant, so to speak,” he said. “They’ve just gotta be, hopefully, brought back in a relatively quick fashion and at the right pace. We’re very concerned about going too fast once we get going.”While Avery Bradley is sitting out the restart and Dwight Howard is still reportedly mulling his options and could join the Lakers later in the process, Davis said he’s had no reservations about getting back to competition. The NBA announced Thursday morning that nine new positive COVID cases surfaced among players, and 848 tests of traveling staffers revealed 10 new COVID cases.Vogel and Davis said they trust the league’s preparation and guidelines, and they believe attendees will follow the restrictions of the Disney World campus for the greater good.“Obviously the numbers are spiking in Orlando, and I don’t think no one wants to get COVID,” Davis said. “So I don’t think guys would put themselves, or hopefully won’t put themselves, the other players and staff that’s gonna be in the bubble in jeopardy.”The steady rise in cases around the country is just one of the uncertain factors the Lakers face, along with losing Bradley and not being sure Howard will join. They’ll also seek to continue blending Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters, as well as new signee J.R. Smith. Between the age of the roster and the quick uptick to the July 30 start, there could be increased risk of injury for the Lakers as much as any team.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img And yet Davis seemed confident that his team remains the one everyone is trying to unseat.“Actually, I think our chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go,” he said. “If anything, our chances got higher and it’s going to be about just who wants it more. Everybody kind of had a decompression of the season and obviously with stuff going on, but it’s about what team wants it more and which team can stay healthy.” For just about four months, Anthony Davis lived with the pain.After an injury during the opening slate of games last fall when he jammed his right shoulder, it was common, even for months afterward, to see the 6-foot-10 forward rolling the joint while wincing in pain. Davis gets these nagging injuries that are difficult to shake once in the rhythm of the season.So in one light, the hiatus has done him good: Without the physical toll of games and going through daily workouts – with plenty of down time with video games mixed in – Davis said Thursday he feels as good as he’s felt physically all year.“It’s been good for me to kind of let some of them lingering injuries I had towards the time when the NBA stopped to kind of recover and heal and get back into the best version of myself,” he said. “I feel 100 percent healthy. Well, I don’t feel – I am.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersKeeping Davis and the other Lakers that way is a priority for the team, which has zeroed in on staying healthy headed to the NBA’s Orlando restart later this month. While the threat of COVID-19 looms over all the proceedings, the Lakers anticipate that the abbreviated timeline to get back into shape and the unusual circumstances of play could mean the NBA title will be won by the team that can withstand the most attrition.To that end, the Lakers will be sending a full roster of 17 players, including two-way contract players Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo, to provide maximum depth. NBA teams are restricted to a 35-person initial travel party, which coach Frank Vogel said the Lakers will use heavily on medical staff at the expense of some spots for coaches.While the Lakers have not disclosed which coaches will not be traveling to Orlando on July 9, Vogel said “miserable” decisions were necessary to protect the health of the players.“Just because of the history of players coming back after a lockout types of situations and the high risk of injury,” he said. “Additionally with the COVID protocols and potentially having guys out, we did decide to bring 17 players so that we make sure that we have enough practice bodies. What that does is it leaves you, and what most teams are going through, it leaves you a little bit shorthanded on the coaching front.”Coaches who don’t travel with the team initially will work remotely, and as long as the Lakers advance through the postseason, they anticipate more staffers will be able to join the campus. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions last_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday that the

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday that the team signed rookie free agent running back Damien Thigpen. Thigpen gained 686 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns in his UCLA career. On special teams, he returned 27 kickoffs for 640 yards and made 18 tackles. In a corresponding roster move, the Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin Smith, who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in May. Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more