By the time the Los Angeles Lakers play their next game, six days will have passed from their last game — a 131-122 win over the Portland Trail Blazers that secured their spot in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Lakers lost the first game of that series with the Trail Blazers 100-93, but it was their only loss of the series. Following their loss, they won four games in a row and held the Trail Blazers to 7.3 points below their regular season offensive rating. They were dominant.
“I think our first round was great,” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said after practice on Wednesday. “Portland is a great team, Dame and CJ is a great back court in this league, so they gave us a good test of what it’s gonna be like in the playoffs.”
The biggest question for the Lakers going forward (now that they know who they’ll be playing) is whether the six-day break they’ll have gotten will be beneficial for them or not. The fact of the matter is that they won’t know until they actually take the court again, but they feel good about where they’re at.
“It give us some time to rest from that first series,” Caldwell-Pope said. “That was a tough matchup. There were a lot of bumps and bruises that we had, so it gave us a lot of time to recover and get them under control by becoming 100% healthy. It also give us a fresh mind, fresh focus going into the second round.”
But they’re also aware of the disadvantages that the break could bring.
“It depends on your roster,” Danny Green said. “Obviously, we have an older crew. I think it helps us out. At the same time, you want to keep rhythm. I think most teams want to keep playing and stay in rhythm, but for older groups, I think it benefits them more than any to actually get some days of rest, be able to relax a little bit, take a break — especially in this type of circumstances, where there isn’t many escapes.”
The Lakers will have a light practice with no contract on Thursday after having a full practice on Wednesday, according to Frank Vogel. Then, on Friday at 6 p.m. PT, the Lakers will take the court for Game 1 of their second round series with the Rockets.
Buckle up, everyone. It should be a fun one.