Dec 8, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (middle) on the bench with his teammates during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-Back Games Grueling for Lakers

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In recent years the Lakers have struggled to win games scheduled on back-to-back days. Though this is an arduous task for every team in the NBA, the Lakers in particular have not had much success, and despite the physical exhaustion that stems from playing two games in two days, it’s an unavoidable situation the Lakers must find a way to overcome for this upcoming year.

In the 2012-2013 season, a total of 32 games were scheduled on back-to-back days for the Lakers. Unfortunately, the Lakers were only able to win 14 of those games and lost the remaining 18. The team did finish with a winning record; however, those 18 games resulted in 47% of the Lakers’ total losses—as opposed to the 14 wins contributing to 32% of their wins.

If that sounds benign, 2013-2014 took a precipitous decline: the Lakers had a total of 38 games following one another and lost 27 of them. Those 27 losses once again factored in 47% of the Lakers’ total losses for that year. The 11 wins did contribute to 44% of their wins, but that number is a bit misconstrued since the Lakers were only able to win 25 games total.

For the 2014-2015 season the team catches a bit of a break since they have a total of 32 back-to-back games as opposed to the 38 from the previous year. If the Lakers can stay fairly healthy throughout the year, it’s possible their luck could change. Playing two games in two days will wear any team out, especially when you factor in travel distance and time zone jumps, but since these games accumulate for 39% of the Lakers’ total games, winning most of them is an essential aspect for a successful season.

These games contribute to many problems for both players and coaches—particularly for older or injury prone players in which minutes played per game must be closely watched—and this year the Lakers will be tested early as they have four back-to-back games in fives days against the Rockets, Suns, Clippers, and Warriors to begin the new season.

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