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Dates for NBA Finals, playoffs, play-in tournament revealed in players union call

We now know when the Lakers will play in the conference and NBA Finals, should they make it that far.

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Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) holds up the Larry O’Brien trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, June 19, 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Over the last week, we’ve learned about a few key dates for the resumed 2019-20 NBA season. We know when the Lakers and other teams can begin their training camps (June 30), when they will travel to Disney World in Orlando (July 7), and when the season will start (July 31). We’ve also gotten definitive dates for the NBA Draft Lottery (Aug. 25), when the 2020 Draft will take place (Oct. 15) and when NBA free agency will begin (Oct. 18).

What we didn’t know, until today, was when the NBA was targeting to begin the playoffs and NBA Finals after each team played eight regular season games. Shams Charania of Stadium revealed those dates and several more during a video appearance on Monday:

“I’m told the NBA players’ union held a call on Monday and revealed several key dates for the 2019-20 resumed season. August 16-17, the play-in tournament. August 18, the first round of the playoffs start. September 1, the second round of the playoffs. September 15, the conference finals. And September 30, sources tell me, Game 1 of the NBA Finals, with a finish date of Oct. 12.”

UPDATE: The season is now projected to start on July 30, instead of the 31st.

We still don’t know for certain who the Lakers will play during their eight remaining regular season games because of a quirk in the schedule, and because the eighth seed hasn’t been determined yet (and because there is theoretically a chance the Clippers could catch the Lakers in the standings), we don’t know who they’ll play in the first round.

For now though, at least we have some sense of the time frame for when those games will take place, and can start planning ahead to when the Lakers would start the later rounds of the playoffs and the NBA Finals, should they make it that far. Also, they most likely won’t be playing a meaningful game on the day I’m getting married, so that’s great news (for the sake of my relationship, at least).

But it terms of things that are important for the rest of you, the big takeaway is this: The NBA is really almost back, and now we know most of the big dates that we need to block out in the calendar. Cancel your plans, schedule your off days and get ready to ignore your loved ones accordingly.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.