It has been less than two months since the Los Angeles Lakers captured an NBA championship in the 2020 NBA Finals, and we’re now just two weeks away from teams playing games again.
The NBA revealed its 2020 preseason schedule on Friday, with several teams starting their 2020-21 campaign on Dec. 11 and the preseason concluding on Dec. 19.
The NBA today released its game schedule for the 2020 preseason, which will tip off on Friday, December 11 and conclude on Saturday, December 19.
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The matchups on that first day include:
Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks
New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons
Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Between Game 6 of the NBA Finals and their first preseason game, the Lakers will have only 61 days off between seasons. Let’s just say some players aren’t thrilled about that.
Not everyone is happy about the NBA’s fast-approaching season
If 61 days sounds like a short turnaround, that’s because it is.
No NBA offseason has ever been this short, and that means fans should be ready for things to seem off for a while, especially with a team featuring a 35-year-old who is notoriously meticulous about self-maintenance.
LeBron James has already made his thoughts known on the situation and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has admitted managing the player’s workload will be a “balancing act.” One former Laker even speculated that James could skip the first month of the season if the season started in December.
The Lakers aren’t alone in not loving the short offseason, but there’s a clear reason why the league pushed them into doing this.
The NBA reportedly feared losing as much as $1 billion if the season started in 2021 rather than December, on top of the billions potentially lost in ticket sales and other gameday revenue. As part of a revenue-sharing league, the players had plenty of reason to go along with a December start date.
Some NBA teams are going to be more ready than others
The start of the NBA season was always going to wonky after some team’s 2019-20 season ended in March while others ended in October, but the preseason schedule added yet another quirk to the situation.
The Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are all scheduled to play only two preseason games before opening their season, while other teams have as many as four games to get ready.
This is all to say don’t be surprised if some teams simply don’t look ready as the season begins.
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