The NBA recently unveiled the full schedule for the 2019-2020 season, and the new-look Lakers have plenty of exciting matchups on their slate.
Los Angeles is coming off an an action-packed offseason full of trades and wild free agency signings, as well as a complete overhaul of the coaching staff with Frank Vogel taking over as head coach and Jason Kidd being named his top assistant.
The Lakers biggest move was the addition of Anthony Davis to the roster, to team up with LeBron James. The blockbuster deal saw LA trade much of their young core, but the Los Angeles front office felt it neccesary to add another star of Davis’ caliber after the Lakers failed to make the playoffs for their sixth consecutive season in 2018-19.
LA rounded out the roster with strong role players like Danny Green from the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, and, after free agent acquisition DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL last week, the Lakers brought back Dwight Howard on a non-guaranteed contract.
LA’s starting lineup looks to be set with James, Davis, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee.
That group will go to battle starting October 22 when they host the in-house rival Clippers. After making the playoffs as the eighth seed last year, the Clippers did some adding of their own this offseason with the signing of Kawhi Leonard and a trade for Paul George.
The matchup starts the marathon for the Lakers, but it does have a few quirks. LA has one less back-to-back than they had last year with 12, including one against the Knicks (January 22nd) and the Nets (January 23rd) which requires virtually no travel.
For J-Kidd, the slate is dotted with games against teams he either played for or coached in the past, with 14 of the 82 games meeting that criteria. All-told, LA will go on five road trips of at least three games, and has just two five-game homestands, though another set of five at home is broken up only by a “road” game at Staples against the Clippers.
The Lakers are also set to have 13 ESPN games, 12 TNT games and 6 ABC games with potentially several more to be added late in the season.
Here are some of the most notable matchups for Kidd and the Lakers this season:
October 22: Lakers @ Clippers
The NBA didn’t waste much time to provide fans with a battle for the Staples Center. J-Kidd and the Lakers begin their season against the Clippers who added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason. AD and LeBron’s first test against the revamped Clippers comes early, and it could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals.
November 1: Lakers @ Dallas
J-Kidd battles the Mavericks four times this season, and he makes his return to Big D on November 1st. Jason helped the Mavs win their first and only NBA title as their point guard in 2011.
November 12th: Lakers at Phoenix
J-Kidd faces his old team, the Suns, four times this upcoming season as well, including in the Lakers final game of the regular season on April 15th.
December 19th: Lakers at Milwaukee
J-Kidd returns to the city he most recently called home on December 19th. That game also comes at the end of a 5-game road trip for the Lakers. Kidd coached the Bucks for three-and-a-half seasons and brought them to the playoffs twice.
Christmas Day: Lakers vs. Clippers
Maybe the best present of them all, the Lakers and the Clippers square off on Christmas in another battle for the Staples Center. The game starts at 8 p.m and is on ABC, which will be the perfect complement to your holiday meal.
January 18th: Lakers at Houston Rockets
The super-team era is over and the super-duo era has begun. Russell Westbrook and James Harden represent another test for AD and Lebron. They play three times this season, two of the three being in Los Angeles. Russ joined the Rockets in a blockbuster trade this summer that sent Chris Paul to Oklahoma City.
January 22nd: Lakers @ New York
The Lakers first host another one of J-Kidd’s former teams, the Knicks, on January 7th and travel across the U.S. two weeks to visit the Knicks on January 22nd. Kidd played his last season in New York.
January 23rd: Lakers at Brooklyn Nets
Yet another return to one of J-Kidds old stomping grounds. Kidd spent six-and-a-half seasons playing with the Nets and coached the team for one season. Some of J-Kidd’s best seasons came as a member of the New Jersey Nets, and many basketball fans fondly remember those formative years of his career. The Lakers visit Brooklyn on January 23rd.
January 25th: Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers
The Lakers close their a daunting east coast road trip when they head to Philadelphia on January 25th to take on a 76ers team loaded with young stars. Los Angeles also plays host to Philly on March 3rd.
February 8: Lakers at Golden State Warriors
Although they’re not the defending champs this go around, any matchup against the Warriors is a big one. The Lakers take on the Dubs four times this season. Former Laker D’Angelo Russell, who now plays for Golden State, makes his return to L.A. November 13th. And while many people have written off the Warriors after losing Kevin Durant, they still have Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson once he recovers from his ACL injury.
March 21: Lakers at Charlotte Hornets
With the season in its final month, the Lakers embark on their longest road trip of the season, six games, starting with a trip to Charlotte on March 21 to take on the Hornets and ending more than a week later March 30 in Minnesota.
April 5: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
LA begins a five-game homestand that takes them just shy of the end of the regular season by hosting OKC, with a chance to get healthy in the win column against some of the league’s lower level team before welcoming the Warriors and later the Kings to end it on April 14.