The Los Angeles Lakers schedule for the 2023-24 season has officially been released and fans can already start to buy their tickets. While the Lakers end up playing all 29 other teams regardless, the construction of the schedule absolutely can have an impact on the team’s performance.
Every season is going to have its ups and downs. Sometimes a team draws the short end of the stick with the schedule and other times, a team gets a massive advantage that other teams do not get.
The Lakers ended up on the “massive advantage” side of the spectrum. While there certainly are rough patches, Los Angeles has two stretches during the 2023-24 season that definitely seem unfair to other NBA teams.
Massive advantage on Lakers schedule feels unfair for the rest of the NBA
The Lakers are going to end up playing just as many road games as every other team in the league but it legitimately feels unfair that they will have two separate month-long stretches where the team is not going to have to do much traveling.
Both of these stretches consist of long homestands for the Lakers that so happen to coincide with very short travel trips. Whether it be a “road game” against the Clippers or a short trip to Northern California, the Lakers can get in and out and still sleep in their own beds after each of these games.
The second stretch from mid-February to mid-March may end up deciding the seeding in the Western Conference. Not only does this come at a great time when the going starts to get tough, but it comes right after the All-Star Break.
Any Laker that does not make the All-Star Game is going to get an even longer stretch of time where they don’t have to really leave home. Los Angeles has a three-game homestand that starts on February 8 before ending the first half of the season on February 14 in Utah.
This means that from February 8 all the way until March 24 any Laker who isn’t an all-star will only have to leave California twice with one short trip to Utah and one short trip to Phoenix.
Home-court advantage is a very real thing, not just because of the supportive crowd (which the Lakers play great in front of) but because of the ease of not having to travel. Because of this advantage, the Lakers may be able to secure home-court advantage in the NBA Playoffs.