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The Los Angeles Lakers are no strangers to any die-hard basketball fan in the country. As a professional team, they are an immensely popular, successful and admired professional franchise in the American sports world. Winning a total of 16 coveted basketball titles from the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the Lakers are only second in the entire league history after their close rivals the Boston Celtics. 

According to the Lakers Schedule, the 2018-2019 season was Los Angeles Lakers’ 71st season (70th season according to the NBA schedule and 59th in Los Angeles). Following the historic signing of basketball superstar LeBron James on July 2018, the franchise harbored great hopes of finishing the season with a record-winning performance for the first time since the 2012-2013 playoff season. With the unfortunate series of player injuries (including the injuries sustained by Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram and of course, LeBron James), the franchise experienced a major dip in performance and fell below .500 by the All-Star break.

Los Angeles Lakers Standings
Los Angeles Lakers Standings

After playing a successful stint with Cleveland Cavalier, LeBron James signed a four-year contract with the Lakers worth a staggering $154 million. LeBron had led his hometown team to their first-ever championship title in 2016, and later led them to the finals of the NBA championship no less than four times (2007, 2015, 2017 and again in 2018). LeBron James’ joining the Lakers sparked off a brief but intense rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers, as another Celtics star player Rajon Rondo joined LeBron in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Lakers Standing by Conference
Los Angeles Lakers Standing by Conference

After a series of disappointments with LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers are now determined to turn the tables and make an impressive comeback this season. After wasting the whole 2018 – 2019 year in initially signing LeBron and then trying to pair him up with another star player, they finally gave up on a continuous hunt for picks and assets in order to bring Anthony Davis on board by acquiring him from the New Orleans Pelicans. LeBron, at last, gets someone skilled and talented enough to team up with, as Anthony Davis is one of the league’s best star players. 

As the Lakers Schedule reveals, by March 2019 the Lakers were dismissed from the season’s playoff battle, thus prolonging the league’s postseason drought to a record six seasons – longer than any franchise has ever gone through. Even after witnessing an improvement in their performance in the 2017-2018 campaigns by two games, the Lakers had a straight sixth losing season in 2018-2019. As per the Lakers Schedule, at the conclusion of the Lakers’ season, Magic Johnson resigned from his position as the franchise’s president of basketball operations. Just three days later, Luke Walton also stepped down and parted ways with the team. 

List of 2019-2020 NBA Season Trades
List of 2019-2020 NBA Season Trades

Starting the season on October 2018, the Lakers faced Portland Trail Blazers and lost the game with a score of 119-128. Two days later, they contended with the Houston Rockets and lost again with a score of 115-124. The Lakers also lost their third game – played against the San Antonio Spurs. The franchise had their first victory of the season when they won against the Phoenix Suns, scoring 131 while the Phoenix earned 113. They had success with the Denver Nuggets as well (121-114), but lost two subsequent games against the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The Lakers had their first triumph against the Portland Blazers on November 2018, when they beat the team by a slight edge (114-110). The Lakers were victorious again with the Dallas Mavericks (a close win of 114-113) but lost the next match against the Toronto Raptors the same month. Overall, there were some entertaining games and some major disappointments for the Lakers. The franchise performed well in its two close games against the World Champions, the Golden State Warriors. 

On the other hand, as the Lakers Schedule shows, the franchise made a bunch of spectacular moves including their most prominent trade for Anthony Davis, even when the Lakers missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. The Los Angeles Lakers were followed by the whole nation as one of the most popular and prominent teams on the championship. Out of a total of 82 games played by the team, 43 were broadcast live nationwide. That is an addition of seven games from the 36 Lakers games shown on national television last season. 

Besides the nationwide televised Lakers schedule, the overall schedule for the NBA remained pretty much the same from the last season. There were little changes to the schedule, if any, and the Lakers proved to be one of the most watched and followed teams in the NBA, even though the team continued to struggle throughout the season. 

The Lakers schedule released for the 2018-2019 NBA regular season promised a plethora of interesting games that could not be missed for any reason. The 2018-2019 basketball season was a rollercoaster of emotions, excitement, thrill and intense play that was enacted by the best basketball players on the planet. Some of the must-watch games included the Lakers facing off against the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day. This was the time when two seasoned, top Western Conference contenders met for an intense game that included super talent on both sides such as Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, and Chris Paul. Another game which stood out was played between the Lakers and the Trail Blazers on October 18, 2018, when the team debuted against the Portland’s contenders for the first time in NBA history. Although the Lakers eventually lost the playoff, it was nonetheless a good game with some of the best players on both sides. 

A franchise which once prided itself on being a formidable contender failed to win a single playoff game since the year 2012. With LeBron James on the team, the Lakers fans had high hopes. Everyone thought that LeBron would be the one to bring the Los Angeles Lakers back to their former greatness, but even he could not work his magic. Due to a groin injury, LeBron had to be called off, and other star players on the team, like Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball, shared a similar fate. Hence, as an old Lakers enthusiast, I am still stunned at the outcome of the season. For me, it was not supposed to end like that. At least not since LeBron James joined the Lakers last July. 

To make things worse, Magic Johnson’s decision to step down from his position in the franchise just 90 minutes before the game took everyone by surprise. The 2018-2019 NBA regular season rankings showed Los Angeles Lakers to stand at number ten. The Golden State Warriors came out on top, with the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers ranked as the first and second runners up. A total of 320 players appeared in action in the 750-minutes long NBA season. By the end of the season, 405 of the original 320 players (129 players in total) were no longer on the teams on which they all ended the season. The silver lining out of this outcome is that out of those 129 players who were dropped by their respective teams, 103 have already found new NBA teams, while 39 of them actually changed conferences. 

There has been some consolidation of superstars, like the ones between Durant and Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Leonard, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and of course, between LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Golden State Warriors remain favorites in the next season. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to head into the next NBA season with three star-level players on their team. Yes, of course, LeBron will still be playing with the Lakers and he will reappear as one of the best all-around players in the league despite his advancing age. 

Anthony Davis, who earned a gold medal while playing with Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics, has recently concluded his tenure with the Pelicans and is all set for a brand new start with the Los Angeles Lakers. He is paired up with LeBron, which means that the duo will be expected to show some splendid performance in the coming mid-summer season. There is also the exciting news that Demarcus Cousins will be joining the Lakers franchise after his year-long stint with the victorious Golden State Warriors. 

Cousins was part of the Warriors all this time while trying to recover from his own injury. Cousins could only appear in a total of thirty games with the Golden State Warriors as he was injured quite early in the playoffs. How he performs with the Los Angeles Lakers in the coming season is still to be seen. Despite their poor performance in the NBA season 2018-2019, the Lakers are arguably still one of the best teams in Los Angeles. They have some of the best players, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma, who can finally steer the team back to its former fame and success in the next season. Fingers crossed! 

Lakers Schedule 2018-2019:

829-Apr-19Lakersvs.Portland Trail BlazersL101 - 104lost 137-45
118-Oct-18Lakers@Portland Trail BlazersL119 - 128lost 10-1
220-Oct-18Lakersvs.Houston RocketsL115 - 124lost 20-2
322-Oct-18Lakersvs.San Antonio SpursL142 - 143OTlost 30-3
424-Oct-18Lakers@Phoenix SunsW131 - 113won 11-3
525-Oct-18Lakersvs.Denver NuggetsW121 - 114won 22-3
627-Oct-18Lakers@San Antonio SpursL106 - 110lost 12-4
729-Oct-18Lakers@Minnesota TimberwolvesL120 - 124lost 22-5
831-Oct-18Lakersvs.Dallas MavericksW114 - 113won 13-5
93-Nov-18Lakers@Portland Trail BlazersW114 - 110won 24-5
104-Nov-18Lakersvs.Toronto RaptorsL107 - 121lost 14-6
117-Nov-18Lakersvs.Minnesota TimberwolvesW114 - 110won 15-6
1210-Nov-18Lakers@Sacramento KingsW101 - 86won 26-6
1311-Nov-18Lakersvs.Atlanta HawksW107 - 106won 37-6
1414-Nov-18Lakersvs.Portland Trail BlazersW126 - 117won 48-6
1517-Nov-18Lakers@Orlando MagicL117 - 130lost 18-7
1618-Nov-18Lakers@Miami HeatW113 - 97won 19-7
1721-Nov-18Lakers@Cleveland CavaliersW109 - 105won 210-7
1823-Nov-18Lakersvs.Utah JazzW90 - 83won 311-7
1925-Nov-18Lakersvs.Orlando MagicL104 - 108lost 111-8
2027-Nov-18Lakers@Denver NuggetsL85 - 117lost 211-9
2129-Nov-18Lakersvs.Indiana PacersW104 - 96won 112-9
2230-Nov-18Lakersvs.Dallas MavericksW114 - 103won 213-9
232-Dec-18Lakersvs.Phoenix SunsW120 - 96won 314-9
245-Dec-18Lakersvs.San Antonio SpursW121 - 113won 415-9
257-Dec-18Lakers@San Antonio SpursL120 - 133lost 115-10
268-Dec-18Lakers@Memphis GrizzliesW111 - 88won 116-10
2710-Dec-18Lakersvs.Miami HeatW108 - 105won 217-10
2813-Dec-18Lakers@Houston RocketsL111 - 126lost 117-11
2915-Dec-18Lakers@Charlotte HornetsW128 - 100won 118-11
3016-Dec-18Lakers@Washington WizardsL110 - 128lost 118-12
3118-Dec-18Lakers@Brooklyn NetsL110 - 115lost 218-13
3221-Dec-18Lakersvs.New Orleans PelicansW112 - 104won 119-13
3323-Dec-18Lakersvs.Memphis GrizzliesL99 - 107lost 119-14
3425-Dec-18Lakers@Golden State WarriorsW127 - 101won 120-14
3527-Dec-18Lakers@Sacramento KingsL116 - 117lost 120-15
3628-Dec-18Lakersvs.Los Angeles ClippersL107 - 118lost 220-16
3730-Dec-18Lakersvs.Sacramento KingsW121 - 114won 121-16
382-Jan-19Lakersvs.Oklahoma City ThunderL100 - 107lost 121-17
394-Jan-19Lakersvs.New York KnicksL112 - 119lost 221-18
406-Jan-19Lakers@Minnesota TimberwolvesL86 - 108lost 321-19
417-Jan-19Lakers@Dallas MavericksW107 - 97won 122-19
429-Jan-19Lakersvs.Detroit PistonsW113 - 100won 223-19
4311-Jan-19Lakers@Utah JazzL95 - 113lost 123-20
4413-Jan-19Lakersvs.Cleveland CavaliersL95 - 101lost 223-21
4515-Jan-19Lakersvs.Chicago BullsW107 - 100won 124-21
4617-Jan-19Lakers@Oklahoma City ThunderW138 - 128OTwon 225-21
4719-Jan-19Lakers@Houston RocketsL134 - 138OTlost 125-22
4821-Jan-19Lakersvs.Golden State WarriorsL111 - 130lost 225-23
4924-Jan-19Lakersvs.Minnesota TimberwolvesL105 - 120lost 325-24
5027-Jan-19Lakersvs.Phoenix SunsW116 - 102won 126-24
5129-Jan-19Lakersvs.Philadelphia 76ersL105 - 121lost 126-25
5231-Jan-19Lakers@Los Angeles ClippersW123 - 120OTwon 127-25
532-Feb-19Lakers@Golden State WarriorsL101 - 115lost 127-26
545-Feb-19Lakers@Indiana PacersL94 - 136lost 227-27
557-Feb-19Lakers@Boston CelticsW129 - 128won 128-27
5610-Feb-19Lakers@Philadelphia 76ersL120 - 143lost 128-28
5712-Feb-19Lakers@Atlanta HawksL113 - 117lost 228-29
5821-Feb-19Lakersvs.Houston RocketsW111 - 106won 129-29
5923-Feb-19Lakers@New Orleans PelicansL115 - 128lost 129-30
6025-Feb-19Lakers@Memphis GrizzliesL105 - 110lost 229-31
6127-Feb-19Lakersvs.New Orleans PelicansW125 - 119won 130-31
621-Mar-19Lakersvs.Milwaukee BucksL120 - 131lost 130-32
632-Mar-19Lakers@Phoenix SunsL109 - 118lost 230-33
644-Mar-19Lakersvs.Los Angeles ClippersL105 - 113lost 330-34
656-Mar-19Lakersvs.Denver NuggetsL99 - 115lost 430-35
669-Mar-19Lakersvs.Boston CelticsL107 - 120lost 530-36
6712-Mar-19Lakers@Chicago BullsW123 - 107won 131-36
6814-Mar-19Lakers@Toronto RaptorsL98 - 111lost 131-37
6915-Mar-19Lakers@Detroit PistonsL97 - 111lost 231-38
7017-Mar-19Lakers@New York KnicksL123 - 124lost 331-39
7119-Mar-19Lakers@Milwaukee BucksL101 - 115lost 431-40
7222-Mar-19Lakersvs.Brooklyn NetsL106 - 111lost 531-41
7324-Mar-19Lakersvs.Sacramento KingsW111 - 106won 132-41
7426-Mar-19Lakersvs.Washington WizardsW124 - 106won 233-41
7527-Mar-19Lakers@Utah JazzL100 - 115lost 133-42
7629-Mar-19Lakersvs.Charlotte HornetsW129 - 115won 134-42
7731-Mar-19Lakers@New Orleans PelicansW130 - 102won 235-42
782-Apr-19Lakers@Oklahoma City ThunderL103 - 119lost 135-43
794-Apr-19Lakersvs.Golden State WarriorsL90 - 108lost 235-44
805-Apr-19Lakers@Los Angeles ClippersW122 - 117won 136-44
817-Apr-19Lakersvs.Utah JazzW113 - 109won 237-44

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Written by Luke Theme

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