The NBA announced the remainder of its regular-season schedule Friday, and the Los Angeles Lakers will help the league resume the suspended campaign when they play the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30 at 9 p.m. ET.
The Lakers will appear on national television for at least seven of their eight games.
Lakers' Remaining Regular-Season Schedule
- Thursday, July 30: vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 9 p.m., TNT
- Saturday, Aug. 1: vs. Toronto Raptors, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
- Monday, Aug. 3: vs. Utah Jazz, 9 p.m., ESPN
- Wednesday, Aug. 5: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
- Thursday, Aug. 6: vs. Houston Rockets, 9 p.m., TNT
- Saturday, Aug. 8: vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m., TNT
- Monday, Aug. 10: vs. Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m., TNT
- Thursday, Aug. 13: vs. Sacramento Kings, TBD
News, Notes and Analysis
The Lakers and 21 other teams will play eight regular-season games apiece in Reunion, Florida, the home of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which will host the matchups in three different venues.
The season has been suspended since March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players will finish it in a bubble of sorts, cordoned off from society in Walt Disney World in the battle to claim the title.
The Lakers appear to be clear front-runners. The first-place team can sleepwalk to the Western Conference's No. 1 seed if it beats the second-place Clips in the opener, as that would put the Lakers 6.5 games up on their rival with seven contests left.
The Lakers will play seven of their eight games against teams with a 39-26 record or better. All those squads have also clinched playoff spots. The lone exception is the Kings.
A few Lakers storylines are set to arise.
LeBron James has a chance to convince MVP voters he's more deserving than reigning MVP and current favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 35-year-old is averaging a league-high 10.6 assists in his 17th season in addition to his 25.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He and fellow All-Star Anthony Davis have piloted the Lakers to a 49-14 mark after a 37-45 record last year, James' first in L.A.
Antetokounmpo is having a phenomenal year of his own, though, with 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for a 53-12 team that has the league's best record and top point differential (plus-11.2 per game).
The Lakers, though, must figure out a plan of action without guard Avery Bradley, who has opted out of the restart for family reasons, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bradley started 44 of his 49 games and averaged 24.2 minutes per contest. The Lakers started Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in his place when Bradley was out in November and December with a hairline fracture in his right leg. Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo should also play more off the bench.
Also look for head coach Frank Vogel (and other coaches, for that matter) to give players some rest in advance of the postseason. James, Davis and others could take one game or more off.
The Lakers top the Caesars Palace odds ledger at 9-5 to win the Finals. The playoffs are set to begin Aug. 17.