Archives For Laker Schedule

The NBA schedule was released a couple of weeks ago. And yes, it’s tough to get a bit excited (myself included, to be honest) since the season doesn’t even start in roughly two months.

But we should take a look at the schedule and break it down a bit. Do they have an extended home stand somewhere? Are they going to go through a perilous road trip or two at some point? What about the back-to-back games?

So in case you need to take a look-see, here’s the schedule.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has made it a point to reduce back-to-back games and the dreaded four games in five nights stretch. Lakers have 16 back-to-back games this season, which is pretty much the average for the season. The Hawks have the most with 19 back-to-backs while the Thunder have the least at 13. Nine teams don’t have to go through the four games in five nights stretch but, unfortunately, the Lakers aren’t one of those nine teams. That happens early in the schedule, though (Nov. 29-30, Dec. 2-3), so if the Lakers do have a shot at the playoffs later, they wouldn’t have to worry about that.

Their schedule doesn’t do them any favors early. After their opening game against the Rockets, they immediately go on the road for four straight. And when they do go home after that, they face the deadly Golden State Warriors. In fact, they face the Warriors three times before November ends; the Lakers and the Warriors have a home-and-home around Thanksgiving. The Lakers face the Warriors one more time but it won’t be until the final game of the season.

The first 20 games are actually split evenly for home and road games. But they have their longest road trek before Christmas as they play seven game outside of the comfy Staples Center (Kings, Nets, Sixers, Cavs, Hornets, Heat, Magic). Then the Lakers face the Clippers in the battle of Los Angeles as part of the NBA Christmas schedule.

While the seven-game road trip might spell doom if you guys are hoping for playoffs, the Lakers will be really tested in late January-early February when they play eight out of nine games on the road (with the only home game against the Nuggets in that stretch on Jan. 31). They go on a three-game road trip against the Mavs, Blazers, and Jazz (Blazers/Jazz are a back-to-back). After going home against the Nuggets, they go on a five-game East Coast trip (Wizards, Celtics, Knicks, Pistons, Bucks). This may make or break their season so we should keep an eye on that part of the schedule.

If they survive that, the schedule after the all-star break is very favorable. 15 of their last 24 games are at home and they have a six-game home stand (Bucks, Cavs, Clippers, Wolves, Blazers, Wizards) in late March. So if they’re in the running for a playoff spot, this post-All-Star schedule will be good for them.

As for games that I’m looking forward to, here are some:

Oct. 26 v Rockets: Because it’s the opener!

Oct. 30 @ Thunder: We’ve seen it before but this is permanent now: a Thunder team being led by Russell Westbrook. I want to see some destruction! (They also play the Thunder on Nov. 22 and Feb. 24.)

Nov. 4 v Warriors: An early test for the young Lakers. And why wouldn’t you wanna see them go against this new-look team that includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant? (They also play the Warriors on Nov. 23 and 25.)

Nov. 13 @ Wolves: Because why wouldn’t you wanna see the battle of #1 and #2 picks from last season? Karl-Anthony Towns is going to be a monster if he isn’t already. (They play the Wolves three more times at Mar. 24, Mar. 30, and Apr. 9.)

Nov. 18 v Spurs: So this is weird. A Lakers/Spurs match-up without Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. (The Spurs come at the Lakers three more times: Jan. 12, Feb. 26, and Apr. 5.)

Nov. 20 v Bulls: This seems better on paper. We get to see Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo on the Bulls. I felt weird typing that.

Dec. 11 v Knicks: Carmelo Anthony has former Bulls Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah as teammates. But more importantly, Kristaps Porzingis! (They face the Knicks one more time on Feb. 6.)

Dec. 16 @ Sixers: Another #1 and #2 pick battle! Ben Simmons against Brandon Ingram! (They get the Sixers again on Mar. 12.)

Dec. 17 @ Cavs: Talk about a test. The Lakers get the NBA champions not even 24 hours after the Sixers. (The Lakers and Cavs face each other once more on Mar. 19.)

Dec. 25 v Clippers: Of course, you wanna watch these crosstown rivals go at it. And let’s be honest, this is one of the things you’re going to do on Christmas if you’re a Lakers fan. (The L.A. teams face each other three more times: Jan. 14, Mar. 21, and Apr. 1.)

Feb. 3 @ Celtics: Obviously not what it used to be but come on. Lakers vs Celtics, guys. (We get this again on Mar. 3.)

Apr. 12 @ Warriors: The final game of the season. We close it out on an exciting note. I think.

So that’s the schedule. What games are you looking forward to? Does this schedule seem fair to you?

So as you have seen earlier this week from our man, Zephid, he had a breakdown of the Lakers’ season schedule. As he had mentioned, the Lakers have 16 back-to-backs. Also of note is that the Lakers are starting their schedule out home-friendly as usual; 9 of their first 11 games are at the comfort of Staples Center. And their longest road trip is during that annual Grammy road trip; they will have a 7-game trek out of Staples. I’m just glad that we’re back to the normal, spread-out 82-game schedule so there will be none of those wacky back-to-back-to-backs.

So what games do we have marked on our calendars? I asked the Forum Blue & Gold Crew on what three games they are looking forward to the most. Let me start it off then I’ll have the rest of the guys take it from there.


OCT. 31 @ PORTLAND: We know that the Blazers and their fans always get up for the Lakers. Even though they’re kind of going through a rebuilding phase at the moment, they have their prized rookie point guard, Dame Lillard. He dominated Summer League and I’m curious how he’ll do on his very first NBA game. And what a test it’ll be for him.

FEB. 7 @ BOSTON: It’d be kind of silly if we DON’T have this marked on our calendars. We know how this goes. Lakers Vs Celtics. And this will be their first meeting of the season (they meet again on February 20). It’s a revamped Laker team against a revamped Celtic team. They may no longer have that “Big 4” but they still have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo. And they now have Jason Terry, who has climbed his way amongst the ranks of “Laker enemies.” Either of these teams haven’t won a title since 2010 but that doesn’t make this game any less compelling.

APR. 7 @ L.A. CLIPPERS: This is the final meeting in four games between these Los Angeles teams but this one is deep into the season and can have some major playoff implications. I expect the Clippers and the Lakers to fight tooth and nail for playoff positioning and the division championship throughout the year. And with the rivalry only growing, this is a must-watch for me.

Okay, dudes. Take it.

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DEC. 7 @ OKLAHOMA CITY: The Lakers first return trip to the place where they got knocked out of the playoffs last season. How will the old, new-look Lakers match up with the young, same-look Thunder? Who is MWP going to foul hard in the first 10 seconds to set the tone?

JAN. 30 @ PHOENIX: Steve Nash’s return to Phoenix. How will the Suns crowd receive him, and will Kobe continue to put on a show against the Suns, even with 100% of those SSOL Suns gone?

FEB. 20 v BOSTON: In the first game back after the All-Star break, will the Lakers look sharp for the stretch run against their hated rivals, or will they come out lethargic? Who is MWP going to foul hard in the first 10 seconds to set the tone? (Who am I kidding? We all know it’s gonna be Paul Pierce.)


NOV. 2 v L.A. CLIPPERS: I would have had a Friday night game against the Clippers penciled in anyway but there’s the matter of Lamar Odom and Grant Hill. I’m always intrigued by player dynamics, old friendships, history, rivalries, whatever. Here, it’s more than that – it’s Lamar coming off a train wreck of a season with Dallas and returning to the team that drafted him, and memories of his younger days with Brand, Maggette, and the Kandi-man.

DEC. 7 @ OKLAHOMA CITY: By this point, the weather will be getting nice and chilly, and another great Friday night match-up for a nationally televised game. Any game against the Thunder will be one to watch this year. They’re an elite team, they stand in our way, they have been denying us, and this one will be on their turf. We get to see what we’re made of here.

APR. 14 v SAN ANTONIO: This is all the way at the tail end, the second to last game on the schedule. Anything can have happened by this point. It could easily be one of those games where Pop rests his starters but we won’t know the playoff implications until we get there. I always look forward to the Spurs match-ups; there’s a lot of history, veterans against veterans, and watching Popovich coach is one of the great joys in basketball for me.


NOV. 23 @ MEMPHIS: The Lakers will face their first true physical test at the Grindhouse on the road when they take on a tough and physical Grizzlies team that features too bruising big men in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. It may be an early season game, but this will be one of the team’s first big tests of the young season and it will give Mike Brown a semblance of idea to how his roster responds to a a team whose identity is all about hustle.

DEC. 13 @ NEW YORK: Kobe Bryant has very few years left in the league, which also means that his trips to Madison Square Garden are close to coming to an end. With Spike Lee in the building as well as a passionate Knicks crowd, expect Kobe to have a game to remember at the Garden.

JAN. 20 @ TORONTO: Steve Nash makes his lone appearance in Canada when the Lakers travel to take on the Toronto Raptors. For whatever reason, the Raptors have had a knack for playing well against the Lakers at the ACC but have seen Kobe burn them repeatedly down the stretch of games. Combine that with perhaps some mixed reactions from the fans in attendance about Nash picking Los Angeles over Toronto — an easy decision really — and, well, we have something close to resembling a playoff setting.


OCT. 30 v DALLAS: There are few things I love over the course of an NBA season than opening night. As someone as consumed with the NBA as much as I am, the off-season always makes the days move at a snail’s pace. It’s not the most glamorous Opening Night game, but it’s a return to hoops and hopefully the beginning of another title run.

FEB. 5 @ BROOKLYN: It’ll be the first time the Lakers play in the new Barclay’s Arena against the New Je… er Brooklyn Nets. I’m not as interested in the matchup as I am in the newness of the arena and the jerseys.

FEB. 14 v L.A. CLIPPERS: We saw how chippy the Lakers/Clippers matches were last season, this year they’ll get to play on Valentine’s day for the collective heart of the city (cue Jay-Z). Point God v. Point God. Blake Griffin trying to murder the Lakers front line. Kobe. Staples Center. Divisional positioning. What more could you ask for?


NOV. 2 v L.A. CLIPPERS: Finally!

Lamar Odom once again playing home games at Staples Center. Steve Nash and Grant Hill back under the same roof. Sort of. The two best point guards of the past decade – both acquired via trade by the Lakers, one successfully – squaring off for the first time as residents of the same building.

At long last, pro basketball in L.A. has some storylines to follow.

DEC. 13 @ NEW YORK: C’mon now! It’s New York! The city that never sleeps, Rucker, Spike Lee, the Mecca… seriously, how many opportunities does one get to grapple with a solid #7 seed, in front of 18,000 Finals-priced seats- before Christmas?

(Yeah. I’ll be in one of them. Sigh.)

Plus, our almost-40 point guard can smoke their almost-40 point guard. So that should be fun.

JAN. 30 @ PHOENIX: Barring a disappointing effort from the Lakers (crazy talk, I know, but humor me), the drama should not extend too far past the opening tip. That said, for as long as this contest is close, it will be must-see TV.

One of the greatest and most beloved players in franchise history, returning to the floor he so artfully ruled for nearly a decade, to the fans he repeatedly refused to leave in the lurch. Unfortunately for the locals, there’s not a uniform they’d less like to see him in.

As giddy as I am to have Steve Nash on the Lakers, my heart will go out to Suns fans during this one.
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So what games are you guys looking forward to the most? Discuss!