With seeding games portion of the NBA restart concluding Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers at least have some clarity with respect to the first round of the playoffs.
The No. 8 seeded Portland Trail Blazers are slated to face No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference play-in, beginning Saturday. If the Grizzlies manage to upset Damian Lillard and the Blazers in the first game, the teams will meet for a winner-take-all scenario Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Lakers playoff schedule begins Tuesday, Aug. 18, when the face the play-in winner in Game 1 of the first round. Whether their first round matchup only goes four games or beyond that, the Lakers are slated to play every other day.
L.A. is the designated home team for Games 1 and 2, and if necessary, 5 and 7 as well. Of course, with the entire NBA Playoffs being completed inside the Walt Disney World bubble, home-court advantage has essentially gone by the wayside.
“Home” teams are given control of game operations, which include what music is played and various other elements from respective arenas. For the Lakers, one touch from Staples Center that’s been incorporated is a recording of public address announcer Lawrence Tanter reading off the starting lineup.
At 52-19 (.732), the Lakers have their best winning percentage since 2008-09 when they finished 65-17 (.793). They clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 2009-10, when the team completed a back-to-back title run by defeating the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers went 2-1 against the Trail Blazers, and won three of four head-to-head meetings with the Grizzlies. Although Portland has been a trendy pick to not only earn the No. 8 seed but also upset the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris are among those who believe facing such a quality opponent in the first round would suit the team well.
Lakers playoff TV schedule for first round
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Game 1, 6 p.m. PT, Spectrum SportsNet and TNT
Thursday, Aug. 20: Game 2, 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN
Saturday, Aug. 22: Game 3, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Monday, Aug. 24: Game 4, 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet and TNT
Wednesday, Aug. 26*: Game 5, TBD, Spectrum SportsNet
Friday, Aug. 28*: Game 6, TBD, Spectrum SportsNet
Sunday, Aug. 30*: Game 7, TBD, Spectrum SportsNet
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