Which NBA Teams Might Get Benefitted From The Hiatus?

Author: Mansi


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With almost four months of hiatus in the NBA season ever since the coronavirus pandemic scaled up in the US, the NBA will return to play without an audience at the end of July. Many of the teams playing in the league have had the opportunity to regroup and their players would have had time to recover from injuries and return in full form. This could be construed as a blessing in disguise for the teams who are seriously chasing the title this year. Here are our top four picks for the teams that will come back stronger than before the hiatus:

LA Lakers.

The Lakers have had as good a season as they could have asked for. How is this additional break in play going to benefit them, you ask? LeBron James has been killing it at the game, as he is known to do over the years. After his All-Star game, he has been at the prime of his game and the Lakers have been lucky to have him. But, the rest of the team has been riddled with injuries that have impeded their ability to play. 

James has been one of the three who have been injured, other than Caruso and Davis. This layoff has undoubtedly been long enough to help them recover and play well enough to go against local rivals Clippers, and the Bucks, the Eastern Conference leaders. Their rivals have the best defense in the NBA, which is why the Lakers’ offense needs to be at its strongest. 

LA Clippers.

The other LA team has been playing some of its best basketball in recent years. Their season has been proceeding very well till the break, with the second-best defense in the league concerning performance. They can break out of the shadows of the Lakers and make a name for themselves this season. Their roster looks delightful, but when it comes to actually play, they somehow lack the punch to win their difficult games. 

The team consists of big names like last year’s Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams, and their talent and form should be enough to win the championship. But sorting out the nagging injuries that some team members have will help. Time alone would have sufficed for the players to have recovered, and to return well-rested. Combine this with effective strategizing over the lockdown, and they have it in them to get ahead in the league. 

Brooklyn Nets.

Probably the team that could benefit the most from this time off, they are currently in 7th place of the Eastern Conference. The reason for their less than expected performance was because some of their top players were out with injuries pre-lockdown. These include Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, with an Achilles and shoulder injury respectively. Both their injuries were sustained over four months ago, which means enough time has passed for them to return to playing. Even in mid-June, it was speculated that they would be able to return to playing immediately. 

This is a huge advantage for the Nets because the playing roster will be strengthened manyfold. Whether it will help them get ahead, and win the Eastern Conference is yet to be seen, but they’ll most definitely be able to return to the game in full form. With Durant on the team, it is easy to chalk up to the team to be a title favorite. And Kyrie only adds to the horsepower with his beautiful passes, and smooth returns. 

Utah Jazz.

No other team needed this break as the Jazz did, but it wasn’t the injuries that led to this being a welcome break. Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert was the reason the NBA was suspended, as he was the first player to test positive for coronavirus in the NBA. Only a few days later, Devon Mitchell, arguably an asset to the Jazz’s roster, also tested positive. While it is impossible to determine whether Gobert was the reason Mitchell fell ill, Gobert’s entire handling of the situation was poor. 

His carelessness and outright dismissiveness made for a lot of bad PR for the team and is likely to have caused problems internally as well. Many of his teammates came out publicly against him, condemning his behavior and actions. With a teammate like that, the trust levels in their locker room must have hit rock bottom. The management and the coaches have to work on building team morale and trust once training resumes, but before the season resumes. 


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