The Los Angeles Lakers arrived at Walt Disney World last week, beginning a 48-hour quarantine before players were cleared to participate in the first team practice since the NBA shut down back in March.
The Lakers have just over two weeks before their schedule of eight seeding games begins with a highly-anticipated matchup against the L.A. Clippers. In addition to practices, the team also will have the chance to use scrimmage games to settle into a rhythm and aid the process of getting into basketball shape.
Spectrum SportsNet announced they will televise all three scrimmages, adding to their coverage of the Lakers while the team is in the Orlando bubble. Spectrum SportsNet is also carrying all eight seeding games, some which will be available on ESPN or TNT as well.
Lakers play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald, analyst Stu Lantz and reporter Mike Trudell will call the eight seeding games; and Chris McGee, Allie Clifton, Mike Bresnahan and James Worthy will provide pre and postgame coverage, all from the SportsNet studios in El Segundo.
“Access SportsNet: Lakers” airs live every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. PT until the restart of the season, and will move to six days a week beginning July 30 when the NBA season resumes. On game days, “Access SportsNet: Lakers” live pregame coverage will begin 60 minutes prior to tipoff, followed by postgame coverage that will include player and coach interviews, highlights and in-depth analysis from the studio team.
The Lakers are due to face the Dallas Mavericks in their first game-like setting on July 23 at 4 p.m. PT. They will then have one day off before returning to the court July 25 at 9 a.m. against the Orlando Magic. L.A. finishes their scrimmage games on July 27 at 12 p.m. against the Washington Wizards.
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard joked he wished they were facing the 1986 Lakers or an alumni team upon learning the NBA’s scrimmage schedule. While the Lakers are without Avery Bradley — who was replaced by JR Smith — the Wizards don’t have Bradley Beal.
It was presumed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would slide into the starting lineup to fill the void left by Bradley, and while Lakers head coach Frank Vogel previously indicated a decision and domino effect on the rotation was to be determined in the 11 games preceding the playoffs, he more recently acknowledged the expected.
“We’ll always have an open competition, especially when we have practices and two weeks leading up to our first scrimmage and another 17 days before our first (seeding) game,” he said.
“But, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did a phenomenal job when Avery was injured earlier in the season. That’s really where I’m at, in terms of what the starting lineup is going to look like with him being in that slot. Obviously, we’ll still see how things go throughout practice, and other guys will have opportunities.”
Lakers seeding games schedule
After wrapping up exhibition play, L.A. will start seeding games July 30 against the Clippers. They then will face the Toronto Raptors (Aug. 1), Utah Jazz (Aug. 3), Oklahoma City Thunder (Aug. 5), Houston Rockets (Aug. 6), Indiana Pacers (Aug.8), Denver Nuggets (Aug. 10) and Sacramento Kings (Aug. 13).
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