Blazers' Damian Lillard Says NBA Bubble Was 'Way Easier' Than Normal Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) warms up before Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

While participating in the NBA's restart at Walt Disney World Resort presented numerous challenges for players, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard thought the game experiences weren't that bad.  

Chatting with Fat Joe on Instagram, Lillard explained that having everything in such close proximity was preferable, to some extent, to the usual grind of an NBA schedule:

ESPN @espn

Dame says NBA games were "way easier" in the bubble. (via @Dame_Lillard, @fatjoe) https://t.co/3aDxPvLKtl

The five-time All-Star clarified he still prefers to play in front of fans but indicated the bubble concept wasn't without its advantages.

Despite going months without meaningful games, players had little trouble scoring during the restart.

T.J. Warren was averaging 18.7 points prior to the NBA suspending the season. During six seeding-round games, he averaged 31.0 points and dropped 53 on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell each had two 50-point games in the opening-round playoff matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. 

Lillard's point is valid.

As much as players had to adapt physically during what's usually the offseason, they had little else to do but practice and suit up for games. The general fatigue that can turn the playoffs into a war of attrition also wasn't as much of a problem.

The lack of travel upon reaching the resort wasn't the sole reason for the offensive explosion, but it undoubtedly played a role.

The NBA isn't carrying the bubble formula over to the upcoming season, with teams set to play in their home markets. The Toronto Raptors are an exception since they're unable to use Scotiabank Arena.

Now, teams will not only have to resume their typical travel schedules, but they also must adhere to the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.


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