The Los Angeles Lakers are not expected to be a very good team this season. ESPN projected they’ll be the third-worst team in the league (and worst in the West) during the 2016-17 season. Sophomore power forward Larry Nance, Jr. says he and the rest of the team disagree with the analysts writing them off before they’ve even played a game together, but the NBA’s schedule makers certainly did them no favors in their quest to prove doubters wrong.
The NBA schedule released on Thursday, and the Lakers are projected to have the most difficult slate in the league. The Lakers are expected to face teams with an average winning percentage of .514, per Jared Dubin, meaning the Lakers’ average opponent will be winning significantly more than they lose. This is headlined by a BRUTAL first month, in which the Lakers’ average opponent has the strength of a .555 team. Here are the gory details, in one tweet:
Strength of schedule rankings for all 30 NBA teams: Overall, Pre/Post-ASG (with differential), and by month. pic.twitter.com/s0wZSBhvrw— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 12, 2016
That’s obviously not great news for Lakers fans hoping this team can surprise some people, but this season shouldn’t be about the results. Multiple members of the organization have spoken about the need to focus on growth, rather than record, and if the Lakers can show some positive signs despite a tough schedule, more power to them.
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