Intelligence from the bubble
Interpreting the basketball signals from Orlando
BY DAVID THORPE
Basketball will look different after a layoff—and we’re starting to get some clues as to how. For starters, there is no reason to assume any player will perform like they did before the shutdown. A lot has changed. On BRING IT IN, P3’s Marcus Elliott said that their cutting-edge assessments showed that quarantine had made some NBA players more ready to perform—strong, explosive, and injury resistant. Others, we know from Elliott and sources in the bubble, are in far worse shape than normal.
We can also bet team tactics will change. The 76ers, Blazers, and Wizards are guaranteed big changes in the starting lineups—what can we expect?
Zion Williamson has left the bubble to attend to a family emergency. Compared to family, basketball doesn’t matter. But when it does again, figure that every day Zion isn’t training adds two days of work to get back to where he is right now. Under the circumstances, it may be difficult for him to find an hour a day to do any real …