Los Angeles Lakers: Will the NBA’s coronavirus suspension benefit team?

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

We take a look at how the NBA being suspended could impact the Los Angeles Lakers going forward.

It has been two weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers last played and the NBA suspended their season. 14 different personnel members of seven NBA teams have been affected by the coronavirus. Rudy Gobert, who was the NBA’s patient zero of sorts, has reportedly lost his ability to smell over the course of the last four days.

The NBA has found itself in a state of complete chaos amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. However, before commissioner Adam Silver’s announcement to postpone the NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were just beginning to hit their stride.

Over the course of their last ten games, the purple and gold went an impressive 8-2 with difficult wins against the Philadelphia 76ers, league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, and rival LA Clippers in three of their last four.

With the team firing on all cylinders and continuing to face a difficult schedule, this is the worst possible time for a season-suspending pandemic, right?

Not so fast. According to Hoops Rumors, the average age of this year’s Los Angeles Lakers squad is 29.07. This makes them the second-oldest team behind only the Houston Rockets who clock in at 30.24.

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With LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, and four other players over the age of 30, the spring chickens on this team are few and far between. Although the All-Star break and similar delays in the season can often kill momentum, it’s quite possible that rest could benefit this team more than it could any other. In fact, a look into the NBA history books may shed light on the situation.

Similar to our current Lakers, the 1998-1999 San Antonio Spurs were able to use a lockout season to their advantage to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy. With only a 12-game training camp and a free agency period that began the same day, the veteran Spurs and their front office were able to gel quickly en route to a league-leading 37-13 record.

Come playoff time, the Spurs rolled to the finals where they beat the eighth-seeded New York Knicks in just five games. They lost only twice throughout the entire postseason with sweeps against both the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers.

With at least 20 days remaining in the suspension and no plans to cancel the 2020 NBA season (per the Washington Post), the Lakers could find themselves in a very similar situation to that of these veteran Spurs.

With players locking themselves inside playing video games, Trae Young shooting socks into garbage cans, and Stephen Curry, Bradley Beal, and others watching their old highlights on YouTube, most of the NBA are in complete and utter vacation mode.

However, the 35-year old veteran LeBron James is not that naive. He knows the season could start up again any minute. As a result, he’s remained solely focused on basketball and staying in shape:

Whether it’s throwing touchdown passes in warmups, coping with the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, or now the COVID-19 pandemic, this Laker team has come together as a family and easily has the strongest chemistry in the league right now.

Despite facing more adversity than any team in recent history, the setbacks have only made them stronger.

Next. Evaluating The Lakers Prior To The Suspension. dark

If Adam Silver can salvage the season, the mental toughness and poise of this veteran team could put them lightyears ahead of the competition. Only time will tell.