The Los Angeles Lakers opening night loss vs. the Denver Nuggets not only revealed that the team has a long way to go to contend with the champions — which is no surprise at this point of the season — but it also revealed that superstar LeBron James was on a minutes plan, playing under 30 minutes on the night.
In the postgame press conference, head coach Darvin Ham revealed more details about how the plan came about over the summer and how it simply was not about just total minutes but also length of shifts for LeBron.
Based on these specifics along with previous comments from LeBron and evidence on the court, the plan makes a lot of sense. I explained why in the following video:
Of course, all plans are open to change and Coach Ham hinted as much, noting it would be a day-to-day conversation between James, the coaching staff, LeBron’s long-time trainer Mike Mancias and the medical staff. But generally, it’s a very positive sign that the team has their eyes on the big picture.
Will that create some small picture and short-term strife? More than likely and we saw that in the opening game where players who were asked to expand their roles struggled. However, you want James at his best when it matters the most and that looks to be the priority of the team moving forward.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA and partners with Quantum Performance in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training background to rehab & train elite athletes. 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 over 5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.