NBA basketball is back in action, and players could take some time to get used to the new atmosphere in the playing arenas.
The NBA tipped off its first official televised game this week, and fans couldn’t be more excited for the restart. It is a welcome sight after the sudden stoppage back on March 11. The effects of COVID-19 on the game setup is obvious as players and coaches have to adjust to the new normal inside the bubble.
The NBA’s main theme inside the bubble is physical distancing and wearing face masks. They are doing their best to make the bubble an impenetrable oasis of COVID-19 free people. As a result, fans can only watch the games from the comfort of their homes.
Having no fans for the games is unusual. Every game feels like a scrimmage game. Be that as it may, all players have their sight on the same championship goal.
NBA basketball without fans is ‘weird’
The first game that debuted on the first day was a match between the Denver Nuggets and the Washington Wizards. Players entered the arena without fanfare. Not much coverage was given on the pre-game routines. Throughout the game, there were so many stale moments because of the eerie silence.
Rui Hachimura called the experience a ‘weird’ one because there were no people cheering for either team. Troy Brown Jr. said that the experience took a little while to get used to.
Players were missing easy layups and shots probably because of the nail-dropping silence brought by the absence of fans. Brown added that the bench would have to be the cheer team for the players on the court. He said,
“We have to be the biggest cheerleaders for each other. I think that’s what made us more comfortable in the second half. The jitters were gone and it was really quiet in there and you couldn’t really hear much. The biggest thing was just us realizing that we have to be good teammates and clap for our teammates and yell and talk for them.”
The NBA did its best
Coaches only have high praise for the league for what they’ve done. Wizards head coach Scott Brooks thinks that the league did its best to put the restart together. He said,
“We would rather have fans, but I love what the NBA has done. They had a pretty cool environment. They really did a lot of great thinking to put this together. It’s as good as it could possibly be without being in an NBA arena.”
Doc Rivers of the Clippers said that they are just trying to live their best Disney experience. They can play golf all day, go fishing, and experience Disney World at any time. Given what’s happening outside the borders of the compound, perhaps there is no better place in Florida than in the bubble.
Image from NBA/ YouTube thumbnail