Lakers release schedule for 2021-22 season, have most national TV games

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Silver Screen and Roll 20 August, 2021 - 02:30pm 40 views

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The NBA has revealed when and where we can watch LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and the rest of the new-look Lakers this year.

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A full breakdown of when and where the Lakers will play can be seen below, but as expected, they will be getting showcased to the basketball world on national television quite a bit this year:

Here’s a deep dive into the schedule quirks for this season: pic.twitter.com/6EjFBXiUhH

Kyle Kuzma, KCP and Montrezl return to LA in March as the Wiz are reunited with Russell Westbrook twice in just over a week. pic.twitter.com/ARWZfnWh8L

Including NBA TV, the Lakers will be on national television 42 times, with 30 games on ABC, ESPN and TNT combined. That appears to be the most of any team, as the Nets (27) and the Clippers (26) both have less. The team’s press release provided a few more details:

Los Angeles will take a six-game road trip, the team’s longest of the season, from January 21-30. Additionally, the Lakers have two five-game home stands from November 8-15 and from December 31 to January 9. Los Angeles will play 12 sets of back-to-back games in 2021-22, including two with no travel.

For an old team, that back-to-back part is probably an especially welcome blessing from the league office.

It’s also not a shock that the Lakers will have more national TV games than anyone. In addition to being a large market with an absolutely massive fanbase who watches them as much as possible, they’re also expected to be one of the lead contenders for this season’s championship. Add in three heavily watched stars with plenty of storylines following them like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, and this team is basically catnip to broadcast executives who want to showcase them for ratings as much as possible.

If fans of small markets don’t like that, I suggest buying NBA league pass.

Before the season officially opens in approximately two months, the Lakers will begin training camp on Sept. 28, a little less than a month before their opening night matchup with the Warriors on Oct. 19. In between, the Lakers will play six preseason games, starting on Oct. 3 against the Nets and wrapping up on Oct. 14 against the Sacramento Kings.

Read full article at Silver Screen and Roll

Spurs 2021-22 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Bleacher Report 20 August, 2021 - 02:22pm

On the heels of 22 consecutive playoff appearances, the San Antonio Spurs enter the 2021-22 season having missed the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history.

San Antonio did manage to make it into the play-in tournament as the No. 10 seed with a 33-39 record, but it fell to the Memphis Grizzlies and was unable to secure a playoff spot.

Things could get even tougher for the Spurs in 2021-22, as they lost leading scorer DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls in free agency while key veteran role players Patty Mills and Rudy Gay signed elsewhere as well.

Here is a look at the Spurs' 2021-22 regular-season schedule, along with predictions for how they will perform during the upcoming campaign.

Championship Odds: +10000 (via FanDuel)

Schedule: NBA.com      

While some boos are possible for DeRozan when he returns to the AT&T Center in San Antonio for the first time, there is no question that guard Patty Mills will be cheered.

The 33-year-old spent 10 of his 12 NBA seasons with the Spurs and helped them win an NBA championship in 2014.

While he almost always came off the bench, starting a total of just 57 games, the Aussie was a key contributor for head coach Gregg Popovich for many years.

Mills averaged 9.4 points, 2.4 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 three-pointers made per game in San Antonio. He also made 38.9 percent of his three-point attempts, which allowed him to carve out an important role.

The 33-year-old will look to do something similar in Brooklyn after signing with the Nets in free agency. While Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving will take center stage, he has a chance to be a key veteran presence off the bench.

The Nets presented Mills with a golden opportunity to vie for another championship, and he jumped at that chance.

He left behind years of success and good memories in San Antonio, but he firmly established himself as a fan favorite and someone who will always be remembered fondly within Spurs circles.

When Mills returns to San Antonio in 2021-22, it is likely the Spurs will go out of their way to celebrate his career.

Unlike past years when players such as David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan led the way, there is no clear superstar on the 2021-22 Spurs roster.

Some players have the potential to reach that level, though, and Murray stands out most in that regard after averaging 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season.

The 24-year-old's ability to take the next step may be the biggest factor in whether the Spurs actually have a chance to vie for a playoff spot.

White, Johnson and Walker all need to progress in 2021-22 as well after showing flashes of brilliance during the early part of their careers.

White put up 15.4 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game last season; Johnson averaged 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds; and Walker contributed 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

Johnson may have the best opportunity to make a significant leap among that group, especially on the heels of winning an Olympic gold medal for Team USA.

After Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal was diagnosed with COVID-19, Johnson was added to Team USA's roster due largely to his strong performances in exhibition games and his relationship with Popovich, who coached the United States in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old didn't have a big role on the team, but being around some of the biggest stars in the world and experiencing that level of success could be huge for his growth.

The Spurs could also benefit from the slow and steady progression of center Jakob Poeltl ramping up after he averaged a career-high 8.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game last season.

San Antonio should have no problem being competitive on a game-to-game basis next season, but it may not have the star power needed to be a playoff team.

Record Prediction: 36-46

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