Last week, we got news that the preseason was to be canceled; and it was. Sunday night passed with no Laker game against Golden State. Instead, many basketball fans headed to the Pyramid at Cal-State Long Beach to witness the Drew League get revenge on the Goodman league.
But is that what the fans wanted?
Fans are clamoring for Laker basketball. Fans hoped that they would hear good news on late Monday evening at the close of the latest negotiation session. However, the obvious became evident and the news broke that the first two weeks of the regular season are to be canceled.
Now that the news has sunk in, it’s time to look at just what the Lakers will be missing out on.
For starters, there is the home opener on Nov. 1 against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gone is that opportunity to showcase Mike Brown’s new schemes against a formidable opponent and arguably one of the teams in the conversation to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this season.
The Lakers would then have gone on the road to oppose two high-scoring offenses; first, the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 2, followed by the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 4. Instead, the Lakers will see them in a few weeks (should the lockout finally end).
The Lakers would then have returned home to host the New Orleans Hornets on Nov. 6, a rematch of the Lakers’ first-round match-up that saw the Lakers prevail four games to two in that best-of-seven series. While the Hornets managed to keep it close, they simply could not defeat the Lakers. They will have to wait until March 14 to get their chance at redemption. Now, here is the bad news; if you enjoyed that Hornet series and were hoping to relive it; you are out of luck. The Lakers play the Hornets twice more, but in New Orleans.
For those thinking it, you are right; no Chris Paul.
The next night, the Lakers would have traveled to Arco Arena and play the Sacramento Kings. The Kings played the Lakers tough in the 2010-11 season; nearly winning the last two games thanks to a Laker fourth-quarter collapse. But the loss was averted in overtime as the Lakers would outscore the Kings 17-9 to improve to 3-1 against the Kings for the season.
The Lakers would come right back to Staples to begin a five-game home stand, which will be cut to just two games.
The first game canceled from this stand was to be played on Nov. 9 against the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers dropped the first two games against Tim Duncan and company last season, but rebounded to win the final two games handily. It also is a wasted opportunity for head coach Mike Brown to coach against his former boss – Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich. The Spurs will be back in Los Angeles on April 17; the penultimate game of the season.
Two nights later, the Lakers were to host the Denver Nuggets, who defeated them twice in three games last season. The latter of the losses came without Carmelo Anthony, but with Danilo Gallinari leading the way with 22 points. The Lakers were to have seen the Nuggets four times this season; including two of their last four games of the season. The first of those two games will be the Nuggets first trip to oppose the Lakers on April 13th.
Finally, the last game to be canceled was to be played on Nov. 13th against the Detroit Pistons. This one hurts if you were planning to trip to Staples to see Tracy McGrady or local-talent Austin Daye. The Lakers defeated the Pistons both times they played last season. The Lakers will travel to Detroit on March 9, but will not host the Pistons presumably until next season.
As it stands right now, the Lakers lose eight games in their 82 game season, or 9.7 percent of the season. They lose five home games and three road games.
The Lakers won their first eight games a year ago before losing back-to-back games to the Nuggets and Suns.
Their new opening night is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15 against John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Two nights later, they host Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.
All this is assuming that there are no more canceled basketball games. We will definitely keep you posted with the latest information as it happens.