On July 12, the NBA announced its regular season and television schedule for the highly anticipated 2019-20 season.
With many being certain that the Golden State Warriors‘ time at the top of the NBA has come to an end, teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, and of course the Los Angeles Lakers, will all be looking to pounce on what seems to be an open race for the 2020 NBA Championship.
The schedule for the 2019-20 season can be found in full below, courtesy of ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
In what is good news for us international Laker fans, the league have reduced the number of games with 10.30pm ET start times from 19 to 10. This means that there will be less of those grueling 3.30am (UK time) tip-offs!
As for the schedule, the purple and gold will open the 2019-20 season with an away game against the Clippers on August 2. The regular season will close in Phoenix against the Suns on April 15.
The Lakers will host the Utah Jazz in their home opener on October 25. This is the start of a 3-game home-stand, which is followed by match-ups versus the Charlotte Hornets (Oct 27) and the Memphis Grizzlies (Oct 29). This rounds up the first 4 games of the season.
Anthony Davis‘ anticipated return to New Orleans will occur on November 27. The home crowd will undoubtedly tell Davis what they think of him, following his trade request back in January, which eventually led to a move to the purple and gold in June.
The first 20 games of the season are relatively kind to the Lakers, it seems. There really is the opportunity for the team to get out to a fast start and shoot up the Western Conference standings. It’s a huge difference to the brutal schedule at the start of last season.
Although, heavyweight battles versus the Milwaukee Bucks (Dec 19), Denver Nuggets (Dec 22), Los Angeles Clippers (Dec 25), and Portland Trail Blazers (Dec 28) each fall in back-to-back games over the Christmas period.
The former Lakers young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart will be back in Los Angeles on January 3, when the Pelicans roll into town.
The classic rivalry that is the Lakers versus the Boston Celtics will continue on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 20). Both Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley will be looking to snatch bragging rights on the return to their old stomping ground.
Continuing the topic of returns to former teams, Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins return to the Bay Area on February 8 and February 27, to take on the Warriors.
Danny Green will be back in Toronto to face the Raptors on March 24, followed just 2 days later by LeBron James‘ homecoming in Cleveland (Mar 26).
Fast-forwarding to the end of the regular season, the Lakers close out with 6 of their final 8 games being on home soil. This presents the chance to finish the season strong, given that they can make the Staples Center a fortress.
They face the Indiana Pacers at Staples on April 1, then travel to the Sacramento Kings on April 4. A 5 game home-stand follows: Oklahoma City Thunder (Apr 5), Chicago Bulls (Apr 7), Golden State Warriors (Apr 9), Minnesota Timberwolves (Apr 12), Sacramento Kings (Apr 14).
As previously mentioned, the final game of the regular season is on the road against the Phoenix Suns, on April 15.
Over the course of the season, the team will play in 12 back-to-backs. This is down by 1 on the last campaign.
In addition, according to Mike Trudell, the Lakers will travel 42,732 miles throughout the 2019-20 regular season. This is 10,723 miles less than last season (53,455). This is the 8th least in the NBA, which is good news!
UK Fans’ Travel Plans
Now for the important part, planning your trip(s) to see the Lakers this season.
The purple and gold will be in Los Angeles for extended periods between October 22-31, December 29 – January 8, and April 5-14. If you’re looking to visit the City of Angels and fit in a few Lakers games, the above dates appear most suitable.
Another typical trip for UK-based fans, is to catch the team on the East coast. Between January 20-25 fits the bill in that regard. The Lakers travel to Boston (Jan 20), then New York (Jan 22), followed by Brooklyn (Jan 23), and Philadelphia (Jan 25).
We hope that you found our break down of the 2019-20 regular season schedule informational. Obviously it’s impossible to break down all of the games, and pin point every single match-up of importance. But the schedule is featured in full at the top of the article, make of it what you will.
By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)