If everything plays out in their favor, the Los Angeles Lakers will be back in their practice facility on May 16, the day after the stay at home order in California is supposed to be adjusted
While that would obviously be a big step towards teams getting back into game shape, Frank Vogel told reporters on Wednesday that he believes the only thing that will get teams into true game shape is playing actual games — preferably ones that don’t count for much (via Dave McMenamin of ESPN):
“I think we need some games,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if they’d have to be regular-season games, in terms of finishing the season. Maybe they’re exhibition games, you know what I mean, that you treat as sort of your dress rehearsal or whatever.
“I think for the health of the league and for the health of everyone involved, the more we can get in for our league and our fans, the better. So I think if there’s a way to get regular-season games in, that would be great, but safety’s going to be the top priority. But the biggest thing for me is that there’s got to be at least some exhibition games, which I think there would be.”
Vogel probably knows where the league stands on that issue as well as anyone, but in the off chance that he’s been left in the dark, we have good news for him — or should I say, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times has good news for him. According Woike’s report last week, every proposal that has been made thus far has included “some form of regular-season games”:
In conversations with officials from across the NBA, it’s clear that significant pockets of the league remain hopeful some semblance of a regular season can be completed before the league would begin its playoffs.
According to one official, internal models show that an 82-game schedule and a typical 16-team postseason could be completed by early September if the league were to take the court again June 1. While no one expects the league to be playing games in a month, the desire exists to play as many games as possible. According to one executive, a serious proposal hasn’t come across the desk for a return to action that doesn’t include some form of regular-season games.
As far as seeding goes, the Lakers, who are 5.5 games up on the No. 2 seed Clippers, don’t have much to lose or gain from playing regular season games — that’s especially true if they playing anything less than the 19 remaining games on their schedule. What they stand to benefit from is the extra time they’ll have to re-discover their rhythm.
We still don’t know when the NBA is going to resume, or what the league calendar will look like, but one thing’s been made clear since this all started: everyone wants to play games before the postseason starts.