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Lakers catch a break in their 2010-11 schedule

Okcgasol Guess which of the 30 NBA teams will play the fewest sets of back-to-back games this season?
Yep, the Lakers.

According to number-crunching, the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks each got stuck with 23 back-to-backs in 2010-11, topping the dreaded B2B list. It's the second straight season the Bulls have led the NBA in this grind-it-out category.

Meanwhile, the Lakers will play the fewest, with 15 sets of back-to-backs.

Does this matter? Yes, given that the Lakers have nine thirtysomethings on their roster (Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Theo Ratliff and Luke Walton); this schedule should give them a little breather as they try for a three-peat.

Last season the Lakers played 20 sets of back-to-backs -- their record was 24-16. (After the playoffs start, of course, there are no back-to-backs.)

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder, with a roster full of young legs, also did well in the 2010-11 scheduling derby, and will play only 17 sets of back-to-back, third-fewest in the league. Among other notable teams, the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics both play 19 parings of back-to-backs.

Not everything, though, is a plus for the Lakers in the scheduling department.

Last season they slept at home a lot to start the season, playing 19 games at home out their first 28 contests (and one “road game” was against the Clippers). The Lakers went 23-5 in that spell to open a four-game lead in the West.

This season, the Lakers’ charter pilots will be busy the first couple months, as the team hits the road for 16 of their first 28 games.

Opening night is Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Staples, against the Houston Rockets.

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Pau Gasol beats Jeff Green to a rebound in Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder playoff series in Oklahoma City in April. Credit: Los Angeles Times / Wally Skalij.

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LakerFanInCowTown - "Would have been fun to see all those guys play in their primes."

Always the dream of BB fans, though we've been darn lucky here in L.A. despite our lack of time machines. I think Wilt's scoring would have gone down nowadays (no 100 pt games) because defensive strategies are more sophisticated now (and players are generally bigger and more athletic), but his rebounding would be just as great (I don't think we have the flat-out rebounders anymore), and his D would have been amazing (think D Howard times ten; well, maybe not ten). Also, lest we forget, he led the league in assists one year. A center. If he had had Jackson and the Triangle, I think he would have totally cruised.

Still, except for Kobe, I don't believe I've seen anyone quite as fundamentally sound as Kareem. Coach Wooden knew how to build basketball players.

And if Wilt's claim of having slept with 20,000 women is accurate, then he would also be the NBA's leading 'scorer' in that category....

63 Footer,
I lived in the Palisades for about a year, but primarily MDR for 20 years. My wife and I worked with Idelle James Casting for a number of those years making TV commercials. I never worked with Wilt, but did work with a number of other pro athletes. The only one I ever ask for an autograph was Terry Bradshaw, and that was for a practical joke on him. I was working with him, James Brown, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson on a Fox Sports promo a few years ago. I told Terry I'd never asked anyone for an autograph in my life, but....., as he reached for a pen and rolled his eyes,....... could he help me get JB's autograph? Bradshaw was at a loss for words and JB, Howie and Jimmy all cracked up. We all laughed about it the rest of the day.

Laker Larry - that's a GREAT story! I always like that group of announcers - lot of knowledge and they seem pretty professional (having done some acting, etc., not just thrown before a camera and asked to recite).

Oddly, for as much as I make a lot of movies and TV, I really don't work with a lot of sports people (though I had a great conversation about Coach Wooden with Beau Bridges once). If I do another cartoon, though I want to try and cast Ron Artest in a guest voice, though - that would be fun. I tend to meet my sports people around town or at charity events.

Has anyone heard anything about our rooks? Are they working out with anyone special?

This helps the Laker's a great deal. They will be rested for a lot of games and should be able to prepare better. As for these people who talk too much. I just ignore them. Who cares about them. They think the world must revolve around them. I thought this was a Laker blog. Go bicker somewhere else.

63 Footer
My wife and I are both SAG members, but currently living in Orlando, FL. We've been here for the past year, but I get back to LA every 2 or 3 weeks on business. After living in LA, it's hard to adjust to a city with an NBA team and very little fan interest in BB. I sport my Laker gear at will and hardly anyone ever says anything. Heck, I think they even let Celtic fans live here :-)

Wilt would have dominated. He could shoot, pass and hit freethrows. I'll not forget to mention his rebounding. Shaq would try to move and push him around but should not get the calls this time. Wilt's superior star power would force the refs to call fouls on Shaq. If Shaq can't do that. What's left. As for Kareem. His sky-hook was easily blocked by Bill Walton, and it wasn't untill after Walton's Knee's gave out that Kareem was left to dominate the league. Get a copy of Walton when he was with Portland. He used to dominate Kareem. I was never happier than when those knee's gave out. Wilt had the arm length to stretch out the way Walton did and block Kareem's hook. Wilt's the best.

Laker Larry;

Why'd you folks move to Orlando? I can guess some of the plusses, but the deal-breaker for me would be the heat and the bugs.

Laker Larry - have a lot of friends who moved to Orlando on business (directors and such). Then they moved back. The ones into BB said the same thing: "Nuthin' like the Lakers fans."

I can't wait for the season to get started.

"How about that little Gasol deal with Memphis...sweet!"

Posted by: Sonny Belfast | August 28, 2010 at 04:26 PM

Yes it was, for the Memphis Grizzlies as well, to acquire a true quality center of his size, which is hard to come by nowadays, as the league is watered down to 30 teams. What Memphis did with the 2 First Round Picks was their business ('08 was Donte Green, '10 Greivis Vasquez...who the Lakers I believe were hoping would slide into the 2nd round)...BTW, the Lakers drafter Ebanks with a 2nd round pick that came with Pau from the SonnyBelfast, you can't really evaluate a trade until all is said and done. Grizzlies also got Kwame, and Javaris Crittenton...cap relief and potential, it's not the Laker's fault that they could not develop Javaris, instead they moved him on to get back a #1 pick from the Wizards that was originally theirs. So anybody who thinks the trade was lopsided stop and think about what the Lakers gave up, Kwame, Crittenton, (or whoever Grizz picked with pick, I'm not going to waste anymore time), Marc Gasol, Donte Green, Greivis Vasquez....for Pau Gasol, and know...if Bynum continues to be injured each year, would you offer him to the Grizzlies for Marc Gasol (and others of course)...I bet the Grizzlies would say NO!!! So that trade was not as tainted as the KG to Boston trade, where McHale delivered KG on a silver platter to the Shell-Ticks....KG at the time was hot s**t on a silver platter, soon he will be cold s**t on a paper plate. What did the T-Wolves get, Al Jefferson, where is he now???

I just posted and forgot to put his name...

Yes it was, for the Memphis Grizzlies as well, to acquire a true quality center of his size, MARC GASOL. <<<

Will Rogers nice, I used to run on Dockweiler because it was near my undergrad university (LMU, where the Lakers used to practice in the late 70's, saw them there regularly), it had barbacue pits, and it had the planes loaded with people and luggage taking off right over you, it was a nice break to lay on the sand and just watch planes taking off, you could see the safety stickers inside the landing gear wells...yes I know it's not the safest or nicest beach, but at 6 AM, I didn't care...."Sex on the Beach" is a nice foo-foo drink, but sometimes it's kinda gritty...


We're in Orlando on business. I own a small construction company in LA and also consult on construction projects and litigation for a variety of clients based in LA. The Orlando project started out with me commuting between LA and Orlando weekly, but that proved to be completely inefficient with regards to time spent flying coast to coast twice a week. I'll probably spend the majority of my time in Orlando, for another year or so, on legal issues and perhaps as much as two additional years on actual construction. Not happy about that, but at least it keeps the wolves at bay in this economy.

I actually have a small construction project right now in Playa del Rey. We're rehabbing a small condo complex 2 doors up the beach from Phil Jackson's house. Haven't seen Phil around though, he's probably still up in Montana.

Dockweiler is nice because of the fire pits. I think it's the only beach in LA where you can legally have a fire on the beach. It's great for nighttime clam bakes on the beach.

As for my top 3 order it's not really an order it's more like 1a-1c. Those dudes are: Wilt/Russell/MJ. I rank Magic below Kareem because while Magic was a better Laker Kareem was a better player overall. Wilt is the greatest force, Russell the greatest winner, and Jordan was a combination with the two. You can argue either way with me on which of those 3 was the best and I wouldn't have a problem with it. I just go with Wilt since well.....who else could break not only 50ppg but also 48.5mpg? Or even top a 73% FG%?

Posted by: KBBlitz | August 29, 2010 at 12:01 AM

I've read your opinions on this topic and I think they are very well thought out. Of course, these are always subjective opinions because it is impossible to compare players from different eras. But good stuff. Now I pose this question: If you were going to draft an all-time team with two other people drafting against you, who is your #1 pick and why? You get to pick first.

I love the comments about Shaq and Kareem and Wilt. Could anybody stop Shaq? No. But while Shaq might avg 35, it would take him 25 shots, while getting 4 or 5 blocked (by Wilt or Kareem) in a double team. No body could stop Shaq or any of the 3. If any one player takes 25 shots then the team chemistry suffers and while one center may outscore or be more dominant than another, the team often loses anyway (ask Wilt). So lets move the convo to which of the 3 would give your team the better chance to win the game?

Just to add, Shaq wanted to get paid so much (which is why Buss folded on him) that his team may have never won again...and he was lazy which you could never say about Wilt or Kareem.

I believe it would be fun to watch Wilt and Shaq battle. But Kareem would have been smarter and get a quiet 30 by running the floor and taking smooth shots, not trying to bully, and back down, and bang. So I think any pairing of these 3 would cancel each other out.

KobeMVP888 - "If you were going to draft an all-time team with two other people drafting against you, who is your #1 pick and why? You get to pick first."

Magic - most versatile player evah. Could play any position. Perfect to build a team around. [Yet, Magic is NOT my all-time favorite player. But if you're talkin' building a team around....]

63 Footer,

I don't think that Kareem was overly- "lanky".... perhaps he was, but when I saw him in the gym at LMU in late 70's I was very surprised at the size of his legs which I saw to be very thick and muscular...(no I'm not getting into "Kwame calves")... so perhaps he was not as muscular or as proportioned as Wilt. So maybe Kareem had more of a mesomorph body, and legs just got built up through conditioning. They say that Shaq has the Endomorph body underneath all that unnecessary "stuff", that's why when he stands next to a fellow 7 footer, his chest is higher than the mesomorphic/thinner guy, who got extra height thru having a longer neck, or other areas, of his body (like Manute Bol and Sean Bradley had much of their height in their legs I presume).


Thanks for that article on Mookie Blaylock/Pearl Jam...things people never know...great stuff.

63 footer,

I forgot to commend you, you hung around quite a crowd. Are you the "Logo"?

I read on, about you 63 footer, it just popped into my head, but I had not seen your further disclosures. Sorry.

humanomaly - I agree that Kareem had the legs built up, but he felt "longer" in his body-type (in standing next to him). Wilt always felt like a well-proportioned giant. Shaq was just a mammoth refrigerator (by the time he got to the Lakers, when I ran into him a bunch at Smitty's usually). None of them were slouches, Wilt just always struck me as an over-grown athlete as opposed to a tall guy or a big guy.

humanomaly - I'm just a guy who ever since he was a kid has run into, or played BB with (not professionally, but at school, summer league pick-up games, charity events) a bunch of Lakers (and others). Don't know why. Maybe it's like when one decides to buy a new car and you pick a type out, and suddenly you start seeing them everywhere.

Laker Larry,
Because of my lack of time to take care of my house on an acre lot in the burbs on the edge of LA county (57 FWY), I'm looking to move into a loft, condo, townhome, and as I was happy during my time @ LMU, Marina Del Rey and Playa Del Rey both are on my list....

The thing about bringing people to Dockweiler beach, was the noise of the planes, once you get used to that, the benefits of the firepits, and the lack of crowd in general back then made it worthwhile. I used to run from LMU (after driving there) run to Dockweiler, run sprints in the sand, then run back and shower and be ready for morning classes.

Laker Larry,
I lived in Century City half the time as well, courtesy of the "girlfriend", nice place, very sterile, next to Bev Hills, Century Hill, and Century Park East. Ahh....the good life...where it "snowed" every holiday, and weekend....


do they still have to play 82 games? In other words does it really matter how many back to bak games they play no. Now since they are back to back champ's give them something to smile about and for the rest of the league to mad about like give them 10 win's in the beginning now that would be an advantage but since that isnt going to happen how is this good luck? we are the team to beat nobody else go LAKERS three peat baby hell lets go for four in a row B-)

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