Lakers’ Anthony Davis says emotion of playing again is key tonight

Lakers coach Frank Vogel and All-Star forward Anthony Davis talk strategy during a break in play earlier this season.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel and All-Star forward Anthony Davis, shown talking strategy at a March game, resume the NBA season Thursday night against the Clippers.
(Associated Press)

There’s a sense of anticipation that comes with the start of the regular season for players, and the NBA has tried to recapture that feeling in Orlando as it resumes a season that was interrupted by the first surge of the coronavirus.

As the pandemic continues to rage, the league’s attempt to create a safer environment on the Disney World campus has meant that some of what makes the season opener special won’t be here.

“It’ll feel good to get back on the floor,” said Lakers star Anthony Davis, who is planning to play as he recovers from an eye injury he suffered Saturday during a scrimmage. “Especially since I didn’t play much in this preseason, but to be able to get back on the floor and compete again, especially when it counts now, I guess that’s gonna be the emotion, but to be nervous or anxious or anything like that, I won’t say I have that. But the emotion I have is just excited to be back on the court playing basketball.”

No team has a clean slate by which they can begin to control their future. No team will have its own fanbase, or the opposing fans against them.

The eight games teams play to conclude the regular season will complete the process of seeding them for the playoffs. They are critically important games for teams at the bottom of each conference that could be knocked out of the playoffs or make it in based on these games.

For teams more securely in their positions, this part of the season begins Thursday with much more pedestrian goals.

“It’s the first of the seeding games and our mission with these eight games is to get ready for the playoffs and be as healthy as possible,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the game against the Clippers. “But we do have great respect for their organization and the team they put together. They’re one of the best teams in the league. So, more than anything, I think it’s going to be a great measuring stick for where we’re at.”