The NBA’s bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida has started a couple of weeks ago and, so far, everything is going smoothly.
The league is getting ready to conclude its regular season and begin the postseason. Most NBA teams have already played at least five of their eight regular season games. The 16-team postseason will begin after that.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference of the NBA’s bubble despite the three consecutive losses.
There is still some adjustment to be done, though.
“I am getting more and more used to being out there. It’s a very weird dynamic. I haven’t played in an empty gym in a very, very long time,” LeBron James said on Saturday. “It’s been a very long time since no one has been watching me play the game. I’m just trying to find that rhythm and lock in.”
LeBron and most of the NBA superstars don’t even remember the last time they played without fans in the stands. His games at St. Vincent-St. Mary were attended by thousands and he’s been in the league ever since.
He missed the 5th game against the Rockets due to sore groin, but was back on court against the Pacers. While many fans were worried about his condition, it was nothing a quick rest couldn’t fix.
In the 239 playoff games that he has played, LeBron averages 42 minutes each night. He needs sufficient rest in order to maintain that quality. During crucial times, like elimination games, he has been playing every single minute. He may be a lot more fitter than anyone else, but he’s not getting any younger and that will take a toll on his body.
It will be interesting to see what a heated playoff series looks like without fan noise. Home-court advantage basically doesn’t mean a thing in this situation.