After months of waiting, the 2019-20 season will make its long-awaited return after the NBA and NBPA approved a 22-team competitive format to be implemented within a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those 22 teams and find themselves in a fortunate position given that they will get the opportunity to compete for the 2020 NBA championship. The Lakers are considered a favorite to come away with the title, smashing any preseason predictions or expectations.
In Orlando, the Lakers will play eight regular-season games for seeding purposes. Their schedule begins with a matchup against the L.A. Clippers and includes games with the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets.
Below is a recap of how the Lakers have fared this season against their seeding opponents.
Lakers vs. Clippers 2019-20 NBA season series results
The “Battle for Los Angeles” lived up to the hype and more thus far. The Clippers currently lead the regular season series 2-1, but the Lakers did win their most recent match up in a thrilling 112-103 victory.
The Clippers took the Opening Night matchup 112-102, and also came back to win the Christmas Day game in a close 111-106 contest. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are a formidable duo on the wing and will need to be slowed down if the Lakers want to start Orlando off on a good note.
Lakers vs. Raptors 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Lakers and Raptors only met once during the season, with the Raptors coming away with a 113-104 victory. Despite losing Leonard in the offseason, head coach Nick Nurse retooled the team and played through Pascal Siakam who finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Toronto is one of the best defensive teams in the league with impact players at every position, meaning Los Angeles will need to be smart about shot selection when they face off. LeBron James had a triple-double in their matchup, but will likely need to pace the team in scoring for a better result this time around.
Lakers vs. Thunder 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Thunder are a surprise playoff contender after losing Russell Westbrook and George last offseason, but the Lakers managed to sweep their regular season series, 3-0. Los Angeles came away with two close wins in November, followed by a rout in January.
Their most recent win was particularly impressive as James and Anthony Davis both sat out. However, Chris Paul’s resurgence and the rest of the Thunder are not to be taken lightly despite the Lakers’ success.
Lakers vs. Jazz 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Jazz were a bit of a chic pick during the offseason to make it out of the Western Conference after they swung a trade for Mike Conley. However, the team has not performed to that level and the Lakers were able to take both season contests.
Los Angeles picked up their first win of the season at home, and later blew out Utah on their home floor. The Jazz simply do not have a wing defender capable of containing James, while Davis has historically gotten the best of Rudy Gobert.
Lakers vs. Rockets 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Lakers split their series 1-1 against the Houston Rockets, with their win coming without Davis in the lineup. The Rockets took an early first half lead, but James and the supporting cast stepped up in the second half en route to a 124-115 comeback.
However, Westbrook proved to be too much in their rematch as he finished with a game-high 41 points and eight rebounds. Containing him and James Harden will be difficult challenge for the Lakers, especially without Avery Bradley in the lineup.
Lakers vs. Pacers 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Lakers lost their lone matchup against the Pacers in a close 105-102 defeat. Los Angeles was without Davis, but managed to keep the game within reach thanks to Dwight Howard who contributed 20 points off the bench.
Damontas Sabonis led the way for Indiana as the big man turned in 26 points and 10 rebounds and picked apart Los Angeles’ defense. If the Pacers have a healthy Victor Oladipo, they could be a dark horse threat in the Eastern Conference.
Lakers vs. Nuggets 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Lakers won the regular season series against the Nuggets 2-1, with both wins coming on the road. The first match up was a 105-96 victory that proved to be a good measuring stick for Los Angeles, but Denver got their revenge later in the month with a 128-104 blowout.
However, L.A. rallied in their game right before the All-Star break and won in overtime, 120-116. The Nuggets do not have a viable option to slow down James while Davis has done a good job of making life difficult for Nikola Jokic.
Lakers vs. Kings 2019-20 NBA season series results
The Lakers won both matchups against the Kings, but found issues trying to slow down their pace. Davis sealed the win for Los Angeles in the first meeting as he blocked Harrison Barnes at the rim, sealing a 99-97 victory.
In the rematch, the Lakers wasted no time from the jump and raced out to a 44-22 lead after the first quarter. The game was never close after that, and Los Angeles walked away with a 129-113 win.
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