LOS ANGELES — Nearly a month ago, the NBA postponed the Los Angeles Lakers vs. LA Clippers game that was originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 28 as both teams dealt with the loss of Kobe Bryant.
On Friday, the league officially announced that it had rescheduled that game to take place on Thursday, April 9, and was reshuffling three other games in the process.
According to the league’s press release:
The Chicago Bulls at Clippers game originally scheduled for Wed., April 8 will be played on Mon., April 6 at 10 p.m. ET.
The Golden State Warriors at Lakers game originally scheduled for Thu., April 9 will be played on Tue., April 7 at 10 p.m. ET and will remain televised on TNT.
The Bulls at Lakers game originally scheduled for Tue., April 7 will be played on Wed., April 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Lakers vs. Clippers will be televised on TNT.
And for those keeping score at home, this change gives the Lakers games on April 7, 8 and 9, a back-to-back-to-back situation not seen since the last NBA lockout. That would have been avoidable had the NBA moved this game to April 10, but it was apparently unwilling to jeopardize the ABC showcase game that night between the Clippers and Warriors.
Given the back-to-back-to-back situation, it would seem extremely likely, then, that several key Lakers will rest at some point in those three nights in order to help the team stay healthy for the stretch run. The team not wanting to load manage on back-to-backs is one thing, but three games in three nights would almost seem to necessitate it.
When asked for his thoughts on the situation before the Lakers’ game agains the Memphis Grizzlies, however, Frank Vogel had jokes.
“I’m not as old as [Lakers assistant coach] Lionel Hollins. I haven’t coached three games in a row very often here. I’m a young guy here,” Vogel cracked, before answering the question seriously.
“We did this once in Indiana. there was a game that got snowed out that we had to play three in a row, and we won all three. The mindset was like we’re talking about now: Take it one game at a time, and go and compete and win that game.”
Still, Vogel says the Lakers will use common sense about how many of these games to rest players in given that they’re so late in the season that seeding may be mostly decided by that point.
“Some guys may not play in all three games. We’ll have those conversations as we get closer to those games and see what the standings look like,” Vogel said. “That late in the season, the number one priority is going to be (staying) healthy and fresh going into the playoffs.”