In the old Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Marion Ravenwood was talking about the years and age. Indiana Jones’ reply was “it’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” And the mileage on some L.A. Lakers may be a concern as the regular season draws to a close.
The last game that the Lakers played was against the Golden State Warriors. It was a 123-119 win for the Lakers, in a game which required an overtime session. Lamar Odom played fifty three minutes. He played the entire game, including the overtime. Kobe Bryant was five seconds short of fifty two minutes. That is putting a load of miles on the legs of two Lakers starters.
link: Lakers / Warriors game
The impact of this accumulated mileage may be evident if the Lakers advance far into the playoffs. With tired legs, shots tend to fall short. And the other significant concern is injuries. It is a long regular season and long minutes expose a player to injuries. Undoubtedly, Phil Jackson, the Lakers coach, knows the risks involved. However, in the highly competitive division in which the Lakers play, each win now is crucial for home court advantage.
On the positive side, the injuries to Pau Gasol, Chris Mihm, Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum have forced these Lakers to the sidelines. They will have ‘fresh legs’ when they return. Pau Gasol will not have been away too long and may be not have lost a significant amount of his conditioning. All injured Lakers are expected back during the post season play. That they return rested may be one of the advantages of having an injury plagued regular season.
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