The Los Angeles Lakers will be heading down to Orlando, Florida, to set up in the Walt Disney World bubble on July 9, where full team workouts will begin shortly after. The eight “seeding games” will not begin until July 30, meaning there’s still plenty of time until meaningful games get played.
However, each team will get three scrimmage games prior to the regular season resuming. The exhibition contests have been scheduled for the week of July 22-28, when all 22 teams will play three games but without back-to-backs.
The goal for scrimmages will be to help start the process of getting back to game speed, much like a preseason. The NBA also wanted to arrange it so that teams would only play others that they are unlikely to face in the bubble.
The Lakers schedule absolutely reflects this, as they will play the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, in that order during the seven days of preseason.
The Lakers are due to face the Mavericks in their first game-like setting since March on July 23 at 4 p.m. PT. They will then have one day off and play again on July 25 at 9 a.m. against the Magic. L.A. finishes their preseason games on July 27 at 12 p.m. against the Wizards.
The NBA’s release did not include any television information for the scrimmage games. Spectrum SportsNet will air all eight seeding games, and they will also be carried by ESPN or TNT.
Scrimmage games do not hold much weight for teams, except being a preliminary way to get everyone back up and running again. However, the Lakers have the fortune of basically having 11 preseason games prior to the beginning of the playoffs.
With the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference all but locked up, the Lakers can use their games to figure out lineups and give all 17 players a chance to play.
“Part of of guys like Kostas [Antetokounmpo] and Devonate [Cacok] being a part of this camp and practices and getting opportunities in those games is just from a coaching standpoint to sharpen all your assets, you never know who you’re going to need,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
It’s unlikely that LeBron James and Anthony Davis get big minutes during these games, as they’ll get just enough to get back into game shape before resting.
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