The Lakers’ 2019-2020 schedule was released today after a few major leaks had already been released. However, we now have specifics for a number of high profile games as well as the missing pieces to fill out how the Lakers navigate a difficult Western Conference.
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Lakers Schedule: LA Set to Lead League in National Broadcasts
On the back of adding a second superstar in Anthony Davis, the Lakers are one of the NBA’s biggest draws – reflected by the fact that the lead the league with a whopping 43 games on national television. With games against the Clippers, Warriors, Jazz, Pelicans, Bucks, and many more, the Lakers are set to try and make their mark on the league in front of a massive media audience.
With other new additions like former All-NBA superstar DeMarcus Cousins and high profile defenders like Danny Green and Avery Bradley, the Lakers have a number of big-name talents to surround their superstar duo of James and Davis. Also adding fuel to the fire is the fact that their Staples Center roommate, the Clippers, beat them out in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes while also adding Paul George.
The Lakers also have one of the easiest travel schedules in the league, traveling nearly 9,000 miles fewer than last season. The lessened travel time should help James’ aging body keep up as well as keep the numerous veterans on the team a bit more well-rested compared to last year’s injury-plagued group that was subjected to a considerably larger amount of time spent on the plane.
Lakers and Clippers Set for High Profile National TV Showdowns
Among the Lakers biggest national TV matchups are a pair of matchups with the Clippers on opening night and Christmas day. Opening night could be an interesting matchup as the Clippers’ second superstar – Paul George – could still be on the shelf with a shoulder injury. With George out of the mix, the Clippers could still have a leg up on the Lakers despite lacking star power, namely due to their continuity from last season.
Returning the bulk of a playoff-caliber core, the Clippers offer a battle-tested unit that the new-look Lakers will need to be ready for on night one. The Lakers have a number of new faces and integrating over half a team’s worth of players into the mix could wind up taking a bit of time. Despite the Lakers having both their superstars at their disposal, expect the matchup to be a close showdown.
When the two meet again on Christmas Day, both teams should be at full strength with the Lakers having nearly two months to learn to play with one another and Paul George having ample time to get over his shoulder injury and get back into the Clippers lineup. This could very well be the first meeting between teams that most analysts project will run into one another in the deep Western Conference playoffs.