The NBA released the new schedule, which pretty much means the league is set to start Jul. 30. Some players confirmed they would not be going with the teams down to Orlando, but it seems most of the players are on board when it comes to playing basketball again. The schedule looks exciting, and the format will genuinely be one of a kind.
- Jun. 21: All players report to home market
- Jun. 22: "Transaction window" opens when teams can fill out roster
- Jun. 30: Training camps begin
- Jul. 7: Teams travel to Orlando
- July 31-Aug. 14: The "seeding games" begin, eight games per team
- Aug. 15-16: Play-in tournaments (if needed, maximum two games back-to-back)
- Aug. 17: First round of playoffs begins
- Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Second round of playoffs
- Sept. 15-28: Conference Finals
- Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin
- Oct. 13: Game 7 (if necessary)
The Los Angeles Lakers had a good run before the games were postponed, and many analysts believe this year they finally have the chance to win it all. After a relatively slow start into the season, the Lakers picked up their tempo and have the best record in the western conference, only behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the entire NBA. The Lakers will probably have to go through the Los Angeles Clippers to get out of the western conference, and their first game back will be against the Clippers. They've added several pieces to their core players and, when healthy, are very dangerous, championship-caliber team. Just recently, they signed Joakim Noah for the remainder of their season to solidify their center position.
On the other hand, the Lakers will miss Avery Bradley, who decided not to play, and Dwight Howard is still questionable. It was announced that the Lakers would sign LeBron James's former teammate J.R.Smith, who comes as Bradley's replacement. Whether that will work is still unknown, but Smith, with his experience, might help the team under restricted minutes. Despite these uncertainties, the Lakers nevertheless find themselves as favorites to win their seventeenth championship, according to SBD.
The Lakers are preparing for the first run at a championship ever since Kobe Bryant days almost a decade ago, and LeBron is, unfortunately, no longer a young player. The Lakers have no room for mistakes, and you can expect that LeBron will expect his teammates to come prepared for Orlando. The team has enough depth to make a successful run for the championships, but there are still many unknown factors about the environment in which the games will be played.
The health of the players and the rest of the staff will be of the utmost priority, and it will be interesting to see how it impacts the players' performance. The Lakers have the right mix of veteran and young players, so LeBron and the rest of the older guys will be ready to go.