Mark your calendars because the official Los Angeles Lakers schedule for the 2023-24 season has been released. The Lakers were going to play all other 29 NBA teams no matter what but the order of the schedule definitely will have an impact on the team.
Scheduling is even more important to the Lakers than other teams. Los Angeles has the oldest superstar in the league in LeBron James as well as an injury-prone star in Anthony Davis. Scheduling matters.
It is easy to dissect the schedule and come up with a long list of pros and cons that ultimately do not matter. In the grand scheme of things, there are two pros (and one con) of the 2023-24 schedule that will impact how many wins the team finishes with.
2 pros (and 1 con) of the Lakers schedule:
Pro No. 1: Lakers have weak back-to-back opponents
All in all, Los Angeles has 14 back-to-backs during the 2023-24 season. Seven of these back-to-backs are road back-to-backs. While this seems like a lot, this is right in line with the average number for the rest of the league.
The second leg of a back-to-back is very tough and for a team like the Lakers, it is a chance to rest key starters. Many of these 14 games are going to be played with Austin Reaves as the main option and the two superstars on the bench.
The NBA did the Lakers a favor with the teams that LA will play on the second leg of these back-to-backs, as there are not any very difficult matchups. The teams the Lakers play are as followed: Orlando, Sacramento, Dallas, OKC, San Antonio, Minnesota, New Orleans, Atlanta, Utah, San Antonio, Washington, Memphis, Washington, Minnesota.
Only four of the games will be played against playoff teams from last year (Sacramento, Atlanta, New Orleans twice) while some of the games are against likely tanking teams (Washington, Utah, Orlando). It is a great draw for LA.
Pro No. 2: Lakers have two long stretches in California
The NBA also threw the Lakers a bone with the scheduling as there are two different stretches of around a month-long in which the team will only leave California once for a short, one-game road trip. These two stretches make up 55 days of the NBA season.
The second stretch, from February 22 to March 24, is an even bigger advantage. With the NBA All-Star Break right before it, Laker players who did not make the All-Star Game will only leave California twice from February 8 to March 24 — right when the season really starts to matter.
Con: Lakers have a tough start to the schedule
The Lakers had a tough schedule to start last season and as a result, the team started with a 2-10 record in 12 games. Granted, the roster was far less talented than it is heading into the 2023-24 season.
This season’s Lakers team shouldn’t struggle this much but it still has to go through a really tough start of the year. The first ten opponents for the Lakers are as followed: Denver, Phoenix, Sacramento, Orlando, LA, Orlando, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, and Portland.
Six of those 10 games are against bonafide playoff teams, five of which are against top-tier playoff teams. There is a world in which the purple and gold are under .500 through the first 10 games of the year.