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NBA's schedule addresses all possible scenarios

May 13, 2010 |  3:29 pm

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I'm always a fan of planning ahead, figuring if I have certain things set out on advance, it's easier to manage my time and be more productive. For example, I didn't really think about how Phoenix and Lakers locking up their semifinals matchup early as well as Cleveland and Boston beating up on each other would create this week-long withdrawal from Western Conference basketball. Then I realized the NBA finds it awkward (or at least financially awkward) not to have each conference finals matchup coinciding. Hence, the current schedule.

That's why I was glad to read all the contingency plans now, instead of later.

Here's the schedule with how the Lakers-Suns series shapes up

Game 1 - Mon May 17 Phoenix at L.A. Lakers 6:00PM TNT

Game 2 - Wed May 19 Phoenix at L.A. Lakers 6:00PM TNT

Game 3 - Sun May 23 L.A. Lakers at Phoenix 5:30PM TNT

Game 4 - Tue May 25 L.A. Lakers at Phoenix 6:00PM TNT

Game 5 - Thu May 27 Phoenix at L.A. Lakers 6:00PM TNT

Game 6 - Sat May 29 L.A. Lakers at Phoenix 5:30PM TNT

Game 7 - Mon May 31 Phoenix at L.A. Lakers 6:00PM TNT

Before confusing you with how Game 6 of the Cleveland-Boston series influences the Eastern Conference Finals schedule, know this first. If both Conference Finals series end in five games or less, the NBA Finals will begin June 1. If not, the NBA Finals begin on June 3.

So for the Lakers fans wanting to know the Eastern Conference schedule so they know when to heckle Boston or Cleveland fans on message boards, here goes.

If Boston eliminates Cleveland tonight, here's how the Magic-Celtics schedule shapes up with Orlando holding home-court advantage.

Game 1 - Sun May 16 Boston at Orlando 3:30PM ABC

Game 2 - Tue May 18 Boston at Orlando 8:30PM ESPN

Game 3 - Sat May 22 Orlando at Boston 8:30PM ESPN

Game 4 - Mon May 24 Orlando at Boston 8:30PM ESPN

Game 5 - Wed May 26 Boston at Orlando 8:30PM ESPN

Game 6 - Fri May 28 Orlando at Boston 8:30PM ESPN

Game 7 - Sun May 30 Boston at Orlando 8:30PM ESPN

But if the Cavaliers wins tonight and guarantees at least one more home game for fans to cheer on LeBron James, the East Final would look like this with Cleveland having hold-court advantage if they face the Magic:

Game 1 - Tue May 18 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 2 - Thu May 20 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 3 - Sat May 22 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 4 - Mon May 24 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 5 - Wed May 26 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 6 - Fri May 28 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Game 7 - Sun May 30 Orlando vs. Cleve./Boston 8:30PM ESPN/R

Moral of the story: If Lakers fans want to somehow squeeze a vacation in during the NBA playoffs, it'd be best that the Lakers sweep the Suns while the Eastern Conference foes can wear each other out in seven games.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: The media doesn't need to grill Kobe Bryant about what the NBA playoffs schedule will look like. It's already announced. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.


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