Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka claims the team is "locked in" and he insists the players on the team are completely focused on putting themselves in a position to make a run for the championship once the season restarts in Orlando.
The Raptors, who won their first NBA championship last year after being led by Kawhi Leonard, lost their NBA Finals MVP last offseason but they have proved that they are still capable of performing at a high level and being a top contender in the East.
Before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Raptors performed a bit above the expectations as they hold the second place in the Eastern Division with a 46-18 record. "Mentally, I think we’re ready,” Ibaka said a conference call with reporters on Saturday, per Steven Loung of Sportsnet Canada.
“Mentally as a team, I can see from everybody, I think mentally we’re ready. We know what is waiting for us out there, now it’s time to get a little bit (of) game condition and then we’ll be good to go… “I saw just how everyone is in great shape.
They came here in great shape and as soon as we got here everyone was starting to put in work. I’ve been in the league for 11 years. You can see when people are locked in and they’re ready mentally, and when they’re not.
So I can tell you right now mentally everybody is ready. Everybody is ready."
NBA sets protocols for teams traveling to Orlando
NBA teams are scheduled to arrive to the Disney World in Orlando this week, where the league has set up a bubble.
"If a player misses a scheduled coronavirus test in the two days prior to the team’s departure date — or has “extenuating circumstances” that have been disclosed to the league — he must arrange his own travel to join his team as the league restarts its season.
The player has the option of flying on a charter flight at the player’s expense, traveling by car, or flying commercial, the memo said. If a player flies privately or drives, he will have to have two negative test results before resuming basketball activities.
If he flies commercially, the player must have three consecutive negative test results, according to the memo," per Malika Andrews of ESPN, as quoted on Probasketballtalk.