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Purple & Bold: How should Lakers exercise load management with their stars?


Editor’s take note: This is the Friday, Nov. 8 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up listed here.


The 2019-20 NBA period syllabus, which began with a chapter on worldwide politics, has moved onto one particular on sport physiology. This lesson is titled: Load Management.

Most of the dialogue so considerably has been centered on Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who’s twice missed the nationally televised entrance close of a back-to-back with what, the league revealed Thursday, is “an ongoing personal injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.”

Of training course, Clippers coach Doc Rivers earlier characterized Leonard’s “load administration (knee)” absences as an personal injury-prevention tactic — which would’ve been against NBA procedures intended to preserve teams from resting healthy gamers in large-profile online games.

And yes, that is all Clippers organization, but Lakers fans may want to shell out focus, you could be quizzed on this later: Frank Vogel and his workers are heading to want to preserve LeBron James (who is averaging 35 minutes) and Anthony Davis (34.7 minutes) as healthy and as new as possible, far too.

“We’re heading to enjoy each individual night to earn with excellent great importance put on that sport, and within just playing manageable minutes where by guys are staying managed for the prolonged haul,” Vogel stated at a apply before the period began.

Taking care of for the prolonged haul may include, say, a sport off to get well from the unavoidable nicks that afflict each individual player?

The Lakers have 12 back-to-back sets of online games this period, which includes their initial Nov. 12 in Phoenix against the stunning Suns and then Nov. 13 at house against the floundering Golden Point out Warriors — the latter of which will be broadcast by ESPN.

Theoretically, the Lakers would be better served by having their stars in the lineup for a road sport against a superior crew than for a house sport against a depleted, unimposing opponent. The community, on the other hand, would be better served by having at least the Lakers’ stars on the courtroom for its broadcast.

Or contemplate the consecutive online games in New York, on Jan. 22 against the Knicks and Jan. 23 at Brooklyn — the latter to air on TNT. James appreciates playing at Madison Sq. Back garden, so he may not want to miss out on that one particular. But the TNT individuals would not take pleasure in him lacking their close of back to back.

To sit or not to sit, that query, possibly way, is heading to elicit a range of feeling. And if it transpires, there will be predictable phases of reaction.

  • There will be outrage: “You’re compensated to enjoy 82 online games.”
  • There will be acceptance: “In get to demonstrate up, you have to be healthy and accessible,” stated the L.A. Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike on ESPN, speaking about controlling her own injuries. 
  • There will be confusion: What does “load management” even suggest? “I don&#8217t know where by load administration normally indicates having online games off,” stated Portland coach Terry Stotts, who hasn’t circled any online games on the schedule to sit Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum. “We have a health and general performance workers, we bought all the analytics and reports and we&#8217re pretty conscious — if you want to phone it load — we&#8217re pretty conscious of each and every player&#8217s load, and we control that. So I guess that&#8217s load controlling.”
  • There could be punishment: The NBA fined the Clippers $50,000 for introducing to the consternation with inconsistent experiences in public and to the league about Leonard’s unavailability.
  • And there will be effects: Leonard, who led Toronto to a title past period following playing only 60 typical-period online games, again looked “well-rested,” as Stotts place it, scoring 18 factors in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 107-101 victory Thursday. In seven online games so considerably, Leonard is averaging a league-best 13.5 factors in the last interval.

All that could be on the take a look at, due to the fact when Vogel states the Lakers will contemplate “every way we can” to preserve the 34-calendar year-outdated James healthy, that undoubtedly pertains to minimizing minutes in apply, and you may also want it to pertain to minimizing minutes in competition.

— Mirjam Swanson


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