One stop in LA and one stop in the Bay, that is how the week is mapped out for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Hitting the road for the first time during this young 2020-21 regular season means the Blazers will have to navigate through the COVID-19 protocols and restrictions.
Following Sunday's practice, Trail Blazers forward Derrick Jones Jr. explained how he is feeling about hitting the road with the new protocols in place.
“Crazy. It’s just, you never know what you can do, what you can’t do," Jones Jr. said. "So me personally, I’m just going to stay in my room and play video games.”
What’s DJJ's go-to video game?
NBA 2K, of course.
Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed how his staff and the team will need to quickly get up to speed on all the various restrictions.
“To be honest, I think we’re going to find out when we get there,” Coach Stotts said after Sunday's practice and right before heading to the airport. “Obviously, California is a hot spot right now. I really don’t know what restrictions are going to be placed on us… As far as restaurants and room service and to-go lunches – all those things, I’m really not sure. We’ll see when we get there.”
Portland will face the Lakers at Staples Center Monday.
The Blazers will then stay in LA to square off against the Clippers on Wednesday before heading to San Francisco to play the Warriors Friday and Sunday.
COVID-19 restrictions, of course, vary by state, which means the Blazers may not always be able to have team dinners or team meetings at their hotel this season.
That’s what happened in Denver when the Blazers faced the Nuggets for their two final preseason games.
And it sounds like it might just be the same in California.
This year’s revamped schedule to play during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant the league worked hard to limit the number of miles traveled and the least amount of contact from team-to-team, especially to start the season.
But with the Blazers facing the Lakers in Portland’s first regular season road game of the year, DJJ is up for the task.
Despite still figuring out all of the COVID-19 protocols on the road, Jones Jr. is eager to build off of Portland's second half success they had against the Rockets in Saturday's victory.
The Blazers and Lakers tip-off Monday at 7:00 p.m. PST on NBCSNW.