Lakers fans, rejoice. The NBA season will start two weeks earlier this season, as the league has stretched out the schedule to allow more rest for players.
The first month of the season offers a potentially fast start for the Lakers, who will not face any of the four conference finalists during the month of October.
Toss in five home tilts over the first seven games, and the schedule’s beginning is ripe for a young squad looking to establish some momentum.
Playoff Opponents: 4
National TV Games: 3
Home Opponents: Clippers, New Orleans, Washington, Toronto, Detroit
Road Destinations: Phoenix, Utah
Oct. 19 vs. Clippers (7:30 p.m. PT; TNT)
The Lonzo Ball era tips off at Staples Center, as the Lakers host their in-arena neighbors. Brandon Ingram will also look to show off the results of his first offseason, while the Clippers will operate without Chris Paul (traded) and possibly Blake Griffin (injury).
Oct. 20 at Phoenix (7 p.m. PT; Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes)
There’s no rest for the Lakers after Opening Night, as they will immediately board a flight for their first road game of the season. That very next day it will be a clash between young cores, as Ball, Ingram and Julius Randle clash with Josh Jackson, Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss.
Oct. 31 vs. Detroit (7:30 p.m. PT; Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes and NBA TV)
The Lakers will spend Halloween night on their home floor, hosting the Pistons for the only time this year. Plus, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will get his first opportunity to face the team he spent the first four seasons of his career with.