The defending champion Lakers are facing an unprecedented turnaround time between seasons, with the usual, roughly four-month gap between the Finals and the start of the following season cut down by roughly 40% to 2.5 months.
This shortened break creates some potential pitfalls and challenges from a health and fitness perspective during the team’s quest to repeat, issues that will have to be navigated effectively.
So how might they do it? I detailed some possible individual and team approaches and strategies in the following video:
So there you go! From an individual standpoint, players likely had to modify their off-season goals and training approaches, along with taking an abbreviated rest and compression period. From a team standpoint, there may be an emphasis on spreading out minutes and usage, using the early parts of the season as essentially an extension of training camp to ramp up safely and effectively, and lastly using key roster moves to shoulder a greater burden, responsibility and workload during the regular season.
It won’t be easy, but winning a ring never is, and that goes doubly so for repeating as champs. However, all you can do in the game — and life — is adapt and meet those challenges head-on. I’m confident this team has the plan and mentality to do just that.
Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and Laker Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter at@3cbPerformance.