The NBA still feels the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, resulting in the 2020-21 campaign consisting of just 72 regular-season games. The league could also release only the first half of the 2020-21 schedule, accounting for the possibility of games being rescheduled due to coronavirus outbreaks.
Nevertheless, the season is promising to be an exhilarating marathon with the Lakers hoping to defend the hard-fought title they hoisted in the Orlando bubble. And they will begin their quest to repeat on a high note, facing the L.A. Clippers on Opening Night in a long-overdue showdown.
Only three days later, Luka Doncic and his Dallas Mavericks will visit Staples Center to battle it out in one of the highlights of this year’s Christmas Day schedule.
Of the 22 games the Lakers will play in front of a national audience, many will come in January. L.A. will face the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 15 (ESPN); the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (TNT); the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 21 (TNT); and the Boston Celtics on Jan. 30 (ABC).
Meanwhile, an NBA Finals rematch with the Miami Heat will come on Feb 20 in Los Angeles.
During the first half of the schedule, the Lakers will conclude their regular-season series with the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Chicago Bulls.
Interestingly, the Lakers will face many of their rivals in back-to-back matchups with the NBA aiming to cut down on travel during the pandemic.
That is the case in their road trips to San Antonio (Dec. 30 and Jan. 1), Memphis (Jan. 3 and 5) and Houston (Jan. 10 and 12) as well as a home pairing with Oklahoma City (Feb. 8 and 10).
The hectic schedule also means the Lakers will not have more than two days off between games at any point during the first half of the schedule due to the condensed nature of the season.
First half of Lakers 2020-21 schedule
|Tuesday||December 22||vs. Clippers||7 p.m.||L, 116-109|
|Friday||December 25||vs. Mavericks||5 p.m.||W, 138-115|
|Sunday||December 27||vs. Timberwolves||7 p.m.||W, 127-91|
|Monday||December 28||vs. Trail Blazers||7 p.m.||L, 115-97|
|Wednesday||December 30||@ Spurs||5:30 p.m.|
|Friday||January 1||@ Spurs||5 p.m.|
|Sunday||January 3||@ Grizzlies||3 p.m.|
|Tuesday||January 5||@ Grizzlies||5 p.m.|
|Thursday||January 7||vs. Spurs||7 p.m.|
|Friday||January 8||vs. Bulls||7 p.m.|
|Sunday||January 10||@ Rockets||4 p.m.|
|Tuesday||January 12||@ Rockets||5 p.m.|
|Wednesday||January 13||@ Thunder||5 p.m.|
|Friday||January 15||vs. Pelicans||7:30 p.m.|
|Monday||January 18||vs. Warriors||7 p.m.|
|Thursday||January 21||@ Bucks||4:30 p.m.|
|Saturday||January 23||@ Bulls||5 p.m.|
|Monday||January 25||@ Cavaliers||4:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||January 27||@ 76ers||4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||January 28||@ Pistons||4 p.m.|
|Saturday||January 30||@ Celtics||5:30 p.m.|
|Monday||February 1||@ Hawks||4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||February 4||vs. Nuggets||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||February 6||vs. Pistons||7 p.m.|
|Monday||February 8||vs. Thunder||7 p.m.|
|Wednesday||February 10||vs. Thunder||7 p.m.|
|Friday||February 12||vs. Grizzlies||7 p.m.|
|Sunday||February 14||@ Nuggets||4:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||February 16||@ Timberwolves||5 p.m.|
|Thursday||February 18||vs. Nets||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||February 20||vs. Heat||5:30 p.m.|
|Monday||February 22||vs. Wizards||7 p.m.|
|Wednesday||February 24||@ Jazz||7 p.m.|
|Friday||February 26||vs. Trail Blazers||7 p.m.|
|Sunday||February 28||vs. Warriors||5 p.m.|
|Tuesday||March 2||vs. Suns||7 p.m.|
|Wednesday||March 3||@ Kings||7 p.m.|