Lebron James admitted that he is still adjusting to the new normal inside the NBA games, where fans are not there to cheer him on to play at the top of his game.
The NBA bubble games have been on for almost ten days. In those ten days, the league has shown so much competitiveness among teams. Night after night, some games go down to the wire. Some have even shown early Playoffs preview. Unfortunately, the true atmosphere of these tight games doesn’t translate to a fan’s viewing experience.
So long as there is still the threat of COVID-19, fans will still not be allowed to watch the games live in stadiums. While the fans stay at home, players also experience the longing from their cheers. The crowd is the true sixth man on the floor. Professionals feed off from their energy and convert them into great performance on the floor.
Lebron James still adjusting to fan-less stadiums
James has been in the spotlight ever since he was in high school. Night after night, he would pack gyms with fans that cheer him on. He did the same as soon as he entered the league and has never stepped back since then. As such, playing in the bubble is a new experience for him. He said,
“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. I’m getting more and more comfortable playing in an empty gym.”
His adjustment period seems to be spilling over the entire team’s performance. The Lakers are dead last in offensive rating among the teams inside the bubble. They have also looked sluggish in their plays. James adds,
“It’s very dark, extremely dark. You can literally hear a feather hit the ground. I’m just getting more and more comfortable playing with my game here in the bubble.”
He has to find his groove as soon as possible, ideally before the Playoffs start. If not, he and the Lakers may find themselves in an upset situation against either the Grizzlies or the Blazers.
Could the Blazers pull an upset?
The Blazers are in a perfect situation to snatch the eighth Playoffs spot from the Grizzlies. They are just half a game behind the young team led by Ja Morant. Lillard’s crew is complete, and they are hungry to redeem their almost lost season.
NBA legend Charles Barkley seems to think that the Blazers could pull an upset for the history books. His respect for Damian Lillard is so high that he believes that he can carry the team past the Lakers. However, the Blazers still have to surpass first a possible play-in situation against the Grizzlies.
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