LOS ANGELES — The All-Star break begins March 5. It’s a good bet that several Lakers have the date circled on their calendars.
“Guys are definitely excited that All-Star break is coming up,” veteran Jared Dudley said, with a chuckle. “I would be lying if I didn’t say that guys are looking forward to that.”
Between a short offseason, a stretch that has seen two of the Lakers’ top players unavailable and overtime results that have stretched workloads to the limit, the team is feeling the strain near the season’s midway point.
LeBron James has openly claimed “I don’t get tired,” and Kyle Kuzma has said he’s fresh from not playing a lot of minutes early in the season. But Coach Frank Vogel acknowledged what his players have so far largely been unwilling to admit: They’re tired. And it might partly explain the shooting slump the Lakers have been in recently.
“I think playing the three straight overtime games sort of – I think there was a little fatigue after that with our guys and they wouldn’t admit it,” Vogel said. “They feel good and everything. But some of this shooting struggle comes after that unique situation in the schedule.”
The return of starting point guard Dennis Schröder, who is expected to rejoin the lineup after Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz after quarantining due to COVID-19 protocols, would help. Vogel said Monday that there was “no change” to his…