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Category: Lakers schedule

Lakers' five must-see games of 2011-12 season

Kobe Bryant

1. Lakers vs. Chicago (Dec. 25) - Laker fans will finally see what the purple & gold will look like under the Mike Brown regime. Either they'll be enjoying the look of Dwight Howard or Chris Paul donning Laker uniforms, or they'll be anxious to see how they hold up stopping Bulls guard Derrick Rose.

2. Lakers. vs. Dallas (Jan. 16) - Even if the Mavericks aren't considered the favorites to win the NBA title, there's a psychological component toward rectifying last year's playoff sweep.

3. Lakers at Miami (Jan. 19). The Lakers can't act like games against the Heat don't matter anymore. Miami beat them twice last season, and whether Laker fans like it or not, the Big Three will improve from last season's adversities. This game isn't important because of the media hype surrounding it. It's important because it allows the Lakers to make a significant statement for better or worse. 

4. Lakers at Boston (Feb. 9). The Lakers always circle their games against the Celtics for obvious reasons. But these arch-rivals are meeting in different circumstances. Both are considered too old to be the NBA favorites, but they'll try to prove otherwise. 

5. Lakers at Oklahoma City (Feb. 23). The Thunder will prove to be the toughest Western Conference contendor, and the Lakers will immediately find out why. The Lakers could struggle against a team mixes athleticism (Kevin Durant and Russell Wesbtrook) and physical play (Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka). 

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, fouls Miami forward Chris Bosh during a game on Dec. 25. The Lakers will play back-to-back road games against the Heat and the Orlando Magic in January. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / December 25, 2010)

Eight NBA teams play two sets of back-to-back-to-back games

Ron Artest

Below is the complete NBA schedule featuring all the back-to-back-to-back games. Eight teams bolded below play two sets of them.

Atlanta - Miami (Jan. 5), Charlotte (Jan. 6) and Chicago (Jan. 7)

Boston - Toronto (April 13), New Jersey (April 14) and Charlotte (April 15)

Charlotte - Atlanta (April 12), Detroit (April 13) and Golden State (April 14)

Chicago - Detroit (Jan. 9), Minnesota (Jan. 10) and Washington (Jan. 11); 

Cleveland - Indiana (April 13), Washington (April 14) and Orlando (April 15)

Dallas - at Phoenix (March 8), at Sacramento (March 9), at Golden State (March 10)

Denver - at Lakers (Dec 31), Lakers (Jan 1), Milwaukee Jan 2); at Clippers (Feb 2), vs Lakers (Feb. 3), at Portland (Feb. 4)

Detroit - at Milwaukee (Jan. 30), at New York (Jan.31) at New Jersey (Feb. 1); April 17 (Cleveland), April 18 (at Atlanta), April 19 (Minnesota)

Golden State - at Dallas (April 20), at Houston (April 21), at Minnesota (April 22)

Houston - vs. San Antonio (Dec. 29), at Memphis (Dec. 30), vs. Atlanta (Dec. 31)

Indiana - vs. Miami (Feb. 14), at Cleveland (Feb. 15), vs. New Jersey (Feb. 16)

Clippers -  New Jersey (Jan. 16), at Utah (Jan. 17), vs. Dallas (Feb. 18)

Lakers - Chicago (Dec. 25), at Sacramento (Dec. 26) vs. Utah (Dec. 27)

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Lakers release 2011 preseason schedule

Lakers Here is the Lakers' preseason schedule. This is, of course, optimistic thinking on the Lakers' part, considering the strong possibility of a lockout of some kind during the 2011-12 NBA season.

But even if the Lakers are making plans to trim down their training staff and the NBA players union is currently unhappy with the latest collective bargaining proposal from league owners, it never hurts to at least keep this handy to see what games you might miss.

Date      Opponent                        Location                                      Time

Oct. 9    Golden State Warriors       Fresno (Save Mart Center)            7 p.m.

Oct. 12  Atlanta Hawks                  Ontario (Citizens Bank Arena)       7 p.m.

Oct. 15  Atlanta Hawks                  Staples Center                              7 p.m.

Oct. 16  Utah Jazz                         Staples Center                              7 p.m.

Oct. 19  Utah Jazz                         Anaheim (Honda Center)               7 p.m.

Oct. 21  Sacramento Kings             Las Vegas (Thomas & Mack Ctr)      7 p.m.

Oct. 25  Clippers                           San Diego (Valley View Casino Ctr)  7 p.m.

Oct. 27  Clippers                           Bakersfield (Rabobank Arena)          7 p.m.

In a test of fans' optimism that the NBA will have a preseason -- let alone a season at all -- individual game tickets for the Lakers' games in Fresno, Ontario, Anaheim, Las Vegas, San Diego and Bakersfield go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday through Ticketmaster.com or (800) 462-2849. 

Photo: Jack Pringle, left, of Oceanside and Mondo Martinez of San Pedro protest a call against Lakers from $900 seats behind the basket at Staples Center in 2002. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Lakers informal poll reveals their belief Portland and Memphis would give them biggest challenge in first round

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The question left some players squirming, politely declining to answer no matter if I quoted them publicly or protected their thoughts in anonymity. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson immediately expressed his disinterest in the topic saying, "We've talked about this before and I've said no. I'm not going to talk about that." And then some players immediately shifted from cliches to honest assessments when I told them their names wouldn't be attached to the answer.

We're not really dealing with state secrets here, but it may as well be in the world of sports. I simply wondered which potential first-round opponent would the Lakers consider most dangerous. Of course, some refused to participate, mentioning how the they're more worried about how the rest of the regular season shapes up than worrying about who they face in the first round of the playoffs. But Laker fans surely do.

Fortunately, some provided answers. Based on the four players who were willing to trade their honesty in exchange for anonymity, three of them equally expressed concern about Portland and Memphis, while one other believed the Grizzlies would be the toughest opponent. Meanwhile, Lakers executive Magic Johnson spoke pretty frankly before the Lakers' 102-84 victory Sunday over New Orleans about which potential first-round opponent would give the Lakers the most trouble: Portland, because of the "hate factor," he said.

"They don't like us and we don't like them," Johnson said Sunday, walking in a corridor underneath Staples Center. "That would be a very physical and tough series, even though we would win and we're better overall. But they really know how to play us; they're well-coached and they're tenacious."

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Assessing ticket demand for Lakers' opening night

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We're nearly two months away from the Lakers' season-opener and it's been clear these last few weeks that Laker fans are wondering if they can just hit fast forward. As indicated by some of the early ticket draws, it can't come soon enough.

SeatGeek.com, which forecasts the prices of sports and concert tickets on the secondary market, indicates that the Lakers-Rockets home opener is the fourth-most costly home opener at $327 per ticket, according to spokesperson Gavin Skillman. The Suns' home opener against the Lakers is priced at $186. In yet another sign that this Heat-Lakers storyline will never die this season, Miami has the three top spots in league home openers. The Heat's home opener against Orlando marks the NBA's highest-priced event at $500 per ticket; the Celtics' home opener against Miami earns the second top draw at $460; and the 76ers' home opener against the Heat stands at third place at $376 per ticket.

--Mark Medina

mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers fans show their support outside Staples Center before the start of Game 6 of the 2010NBA Finals. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

Readers share their thoughts on the Lakers' 2010-2011 schedule

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I shared my take on the Lakers schedule. Now here are yours:

I think for Lakers fans there will be less games of interest because some of the teams' stocking of talent. Cleveland and Phoenix will be less appealing with Shaq in Boston and LBJ in Miami and Amare in NY.

EAST: Orlando, Boston, Miami will be the ones I will mark as "Must See." Playing Chicago should also be fun.

WEST: I will be more apt to watch us play OKC than previous years since they showed so well against us in the playoffs. I think Dallas may be our greatest challenge out west. I want to see Blake Griffin as a Clipper. Portland always gives us fits, so i will want to see us smash them. Denver, Phoenix, San Antonio have lost their luster for me.

OVERALL: The big three in the east will be the funnest games to see. The west doesn't excite me. That's what happens when you are as good as the Lakers have become. Expectations are very high. It will be hard to exceed them." -- rdlee

"Oh thank goodness we won't have to hear all that NBA gave the Lakers a cushy schedule, like we had to all last year... First 25 games will tell us a lot... How the new players are acclimating to the team and our system... The rotations PJ will be using...His distribution of playing time... Will Artest still be making progress in finding his niche in the offense...or will he go backwards and regress... AB and how his aggressiveness level will be...Will he come out attacking, or a little overly cautious... Will our boys still be hungry...the main criticism last year was keeping focus...will the team keep playing down to the level of the competition...or will they need to be put behind the 8 Ball to get motivation... Finally...we will get a peek of Mitch Kupchak's off season moves...will it force him to make other moves before the trade deadline...Hopefully we get some sort of measurement...Artest move from last year was not fully answered till the final game of the season..." -- LEWSTRS

"There are 2 glaring differences between last years and this years schedule. 9 of the first 21 games are on the road, last year it seemed early on as if the schedule maker's were alergic to asigning the Lakers to play any road games, evident by how few they played.

The second difference in my opinion, oozes with the feel of Laker nepotism, which is a beautiful thing, for the LAKER-NATION. Last year the Lakers played Denver, in Denver, the second night of a back-to-back. Needless to say, without Pau, out due to hamstring issue's, the Lakers lost by double digits. On the contrary, this year we play 5 less back-to-back games. More importantly, in key match-ups like, Bos, Mia, and Okc, they have a day off beforehand, giving them the recooperative time they need to be at their very best. It's not to far off to assume the NBA understands the timeline of their best player, playing for their best team. It doesn't take a mind like Russell Crowe in the movie, "A Beautiful Mind", to see that." -- ToneBone24

"Overall I would say the schedule is relatively kind to us, and all we need is our players to stay healthy to have another GREAT season.

"One more thing: Last year every team brought their A+ game against the Lakers, since they were considered (and truly) were the best. This year, with Miami having all that hype (and the angst of other coaches with that so called "Super-3" they have built), teams are going to play their A++ game against Miami, which would work in our favor!!" -- Ruud Van Nistelrooy

"Most of our road games will be in December and Feb. Kinda a nice break after having Feb and March as having long road games. This also plays to an advantage to LA. Having a healthier team (because playing early rather than later when the toll of the season is more apperant) on the road and having the benefit of playing at home in the latter part of the season is good especially when the players are getting hit by the long NBA season and will enjoy more the confines of home. It's better off getting as much road games as early as possible to help with getting as good of an NBA record as we can get." -- KB Blitz

--Mark Medina

mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will open up the 2010-2011 season against former teammate Trevor Ariza, left, and the Houston Rockets on Oct. 26 at Staples Center. Credit: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times.

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