The NBA released the schedule for the 2022-23 season on Wednesday and out of the 1,230 games scheduled, they’ll be plenty that you’ll want to circle on your calendar.
Firstly, the game of basketball is going global…literally. The 2022-23 season will take place in four different countries with two regular season games being played in Mexico and France, in addition to the always-scheduled United States and Canada.
The five-game slate of Christmas Day games are ones that you’ll want to circle as well with the Lakers traveling to Dallas to face the Mavericks, the Bucks and Celtics will renew their rivalry from recent playoff meetings, and the reigning World Champion Golden State Warriors will face the surging Grizzlies, all while you open presents and celebrate the Holidays.
One of the biggest highlights of the season will be if and when, Lakers’ superstar LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s all-time scoring title.
If LeBron remains healthy and continues to average around 27 points per game (his career average), then he is expected to surpass Abdul-Jabbar sometime at the end of January. Of course, if he gets injured or goes on an offensive explosion early in the season, that timeline could change.
With all eyes on James to begin the season, let’s take a look at the Lakers regular season schedule and garner some takeaways.
The Lakers season begins at the Chase Center in San Francisco in a star-studded clash with the champion Golden State Warriors. The game is scheduled to take place on October 18 and will air nationally on TNT.
The Lakers waste no time in facing off with their inner-city rivals and current co-tenants at Crypto.com Arena, when they play the Clippers in their second game of the season on October 20 on TNT.
Early in the season, the Lakers will have some familiar foes as they face off with the Clippers, Nuggets, and Jazz twice in the first month of the season.
Fans will also want to circle the November 13th game at Crypto.com Arena, as the Brooklyn Nets come to town. Will Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons be in tow? Only time will tell.
Following the showdown with the Nets, the Lakers will have a stretch with the San Antonio Spurs where they play them three times in four games, all in the span of six days.
That’s when the schedule gets the toughest for the Lake Show. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the Lakers play a total of 22 games, 16 of which are on the road. That’s a brutal travel schedule for first-year head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers. That stretch could make or break the season for the purple and gold.
Things get a little easier in January as the Lakers have nine home games at Crypto.com Arena before traveling to Boston for a rivalry game with the Celtics at the end of the month. Maybe if luck will have it, Lebron can pass Kareem in The Garden.
Down the stretch, the schedule starts to soften for the Lakers. 12 of the team’s final 19 games will all be at home, and with multiple games against the Thunder, Bulls, and Rockets.
The Lakers season concludes at home on April 9th against the Utah Jazz.
Overall, the NBA schedule has less travel this season, with more than 5 percent fewer miles in the air than last season. That equates to over 50,000 fewer miles traveled by teams over the course of seven months.
The league also made it a point of emphasis to schedule less back-to-back games. Back-to-back games dropped close to 2 percent this season from last, with the average team playing about 13 back-to-back games on the year. No team has fewer than 12 back-to-back games this season, and no team has more than 15.
With the NBA season now just two months away, tell us in the comments section which games you’re looking forward to watching.
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