NEW YORK - The Los Angeles Lakers will play games on the first three nights of the NBA season, the first of 42 back-to-back-to-back sets teams will face during this lockout-shortened season.
The NBA announced the compacted, 66-game schedule on Tuesday night, one that will require every team to play on three consecutive nights at least once. And it will force every team to navigate demanding stretches that are never seen during a full season, such as the nine games in 12 nights the Atlanta Hawks face starting with their Dec. 27 opener.
Teams will play 48 conference games and 18 against the opposing conference, meaning they play only three nonconference opponents home and away. The league did preserve its most storied rivalry, with the Lakers traveling to Boston for a Feb. 9 matchup before the Celtics open a stretch of eight road games in 13 nights in March with games on back-to-back nights at Staples Center.
The 50-game 1999 season featured 64 sets of back-to-back-to-backs and was plagued by sloppy basketball being played on fatigued legs.
Another Big Three? The Lakers are attempting to land both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, according to a report by ESPN.
The report cited sources close to the situation that said the franchise is willing to trade anyone from its roster except Kobe Bryant in order to acquire Howard and Paul.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN that he was aware of the rumors, but was not going to comment.
Both Howard and Paul are set to become free agents next summer and are unlikely to re-sign with their current teams.
No Amnesty for Roy. Portland does not plan on using the new amnesty clause this season on 27-year-old guard Brandon Roy, team president Larry Miller told The Oregonian.
The report stated that Roy has $63 million remaining on his contract and no longer has cartilage in either knee. If the Blazers were to waive Roy, they'd save $15 million against the salary cap.
Knicks seek Hill. New York is targeting free agent Grant Hill and are in the hunt, sources told the New York Post. Hill's other possible destinations are Chicago, Boston, and Phoenix.