The NBA and NHL are about to step foot into unprecedented times. Players from the teams who are playing during restart are living in bubbles with their teammates, with strict protocols that they have to follow.
This is the only way that the sports can get back on the road and completed, but how are these dramatic changes going to affect the players and the outcome of the games taking place?
Youthful Rookies or Experience?
In almost every situation where a team is under new circumstances or new pressure, you want experienced veterans on your side. This may not be one of those times though, now that NHL teams know their hotels and the NBA players also know where they are heading, what players do you want in your team?
An experienced player in their 30s is far more likely to be leaving a wife and kids at home while the younger rookies may not have reached that stage of their life yet, so are able to go to the bubble without leaving anyone behind.
Players have to commit to potentially being away from those loved ones for around 3 months if they make the finals, a huge commitment at a strange time for us all. How players cope with this could well determine who comes out on top on the ice and on the court.
There is going to be a huge spotlight on each team, and how they will act towards each other. Can they live with each other for 3 months if needed, how will they keep themselves going both on and off the ice our court and what if someone falls out?
These may all happen away from us, but could affect what happens whilst playing, potentially affecting the way these playoff series develop. Any hint of something happening and the odds on who wins could swing in an instant. The many new bookmakers UK fans can use will be on the lookout for this happening and changing their odds accordingly.
The key here is that the players have nowhere to escape, no chance to go home and if things go wrong inside the team locker, these are the people they have to live and socialize with.
How to Keep Entertained Away from Sport
Living in a hotel room, playing games and practicing could lead to a position where the players have a life that is dedicated to nothing other than the sport they are playing.
This would not be the best way to handle the situation. Players need a release somewhere else, and how players get together while not playing could certainly affect their ability to play. Teams have been creating games, taking gaming consoles into their rooms and using anything they can find online to keep busy.
It is vital that an escape is available and now that the players have seen the NBA fixture list and NHL schedule, they can plan the days they are free to come up with some enjoyable ways of removing themselves from the sport.
This should help the players focus when the time is right, and not overthink any situations in between games.