The NBA’s bubble might keep COVID-19 out but nobody said it would be drama-proof, too.
While the Lakers have secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, they seem to have some pressing worries on their hands as they inch closer to starting the playoffs in Orlando. They are 2-3 through five games with their offense still trying to find its groove.
Before he sat out Thursday’s loss to the Rockets with a sore groin, LeBron James raised some eyebrows by hinting the issue went beyond just shots not falling.
“It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor,” James said, per The Athletic, after a 105-86 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday.
The Lakers have three more seeding games left to sort out their issues. They arrived in Orlando without Avery Bradley, who opted out for COVID-19 concerns, while Rajon Rondo broke his thumb shortly into their stay and is out six-to-eight weeks.
Through five games in the bubble, the Lakers are shooting 33.6 percent as a team after shooting 42.9 percent during the regular season.
Perhaps they just need some more time to find their rhythm in the new environment, but they don’t have an unlimited time to do so.
“This is a totally different situation than any other situation that I’ve been in in my career, so I have zero experience with having the number one seed inside of a bubble during seeding games playing in August,” James said. “This is all a learning experience for all of us and we’re going to take it day-by-day and continue to work on our habits, either on the floor, during the film session, when we’re able to get on the floor as well. But this is a totally different season, a totally different drastic situation for all of us, including myself.”