The 66-game NBA schedule was released on Tuesday. Just about everyone, from coaches to players, is already short of breath after just one glance at what lies ahead.
The lockout has truncated this year's NBA season by about six weeks, but the league is intent on getting its money's worth in revenue from its on-court product.
As a result, teams are about to enter a basketball whirlwind the likes of which have never been seen in the NBA.
Beginning Christmas Day, each team will play 66 games in 126 days, or once every 1.9 days, All-Star break included.
No team is excited about that frenetic pace, but some will be clearly have an advantage relative to their competitors. A crowded, shorter season most definitely helps young, resilient squads while exhausting the more grizzled and aged teams.
The Los Angeles Lakers are counted among the teams that must coalesce quickly and get into tip-top shape, because the rate of games will not favor the aging roster.
This unique season provides some pockets where Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and co. can ease off the gas pedal, while demanding 100 percent attention at several other times. How well they navigate each portion of their schedule will tell us a lot about how this team will respond to an abbreviated and hurried playoff slate.
Here is an in-depth breakdown of the most notable sections of the Lakers' 2011-2012 schedule.