What NBA lottery teams are hoping to accomplish during their voluntary two-week minicamps

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SportsPulse: The Los Angeles Lakers are headed back to the NBA Finals after knocking off the Nuggets in Game 5, but LeBron James is not ready to celebrate anything yet.

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In normal circumstances, the exercise may have caused some players to roll their eyes or sleep walk through it. When the Atlanta Hawks began layup lines during their first group practice this week, however, they reacted as if they made a game-winning play.   

“We’ve never done a layup drill with such intensity. We were doing layup drills, and guys were clapping and cheering,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said, laughing. “It goes to show we haven’t practiced in a long time if they’re excited doing layup drills.”

The NBA halted the season March 11 because of the coronavirus outbreak, teventually restarting its season July 30 at a quarantined campus in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Because of safety concerns, however, just 22 of the 30 teams participated in bubble play.

That left the Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks without any games or scrimmages to play.

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