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7 things you should know before the Lakers restart their season

It’s been a while since we last saw the Lakers, so here’s something to jog your memory.

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NBA: FEB 21 Grizzlies at Lakers Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Editor’s note: The following Q and A was designed to help Lakers fans — both old and new — brush up on their knowledge about the NBA’s best team before the 2019-20 season resumes at Disney World next month.

Where am I? What year is it?

I don’t know exactly where you are in the world, but you’re on, which is SB Nation’s No. 1 Lakers site. And the year is 2020, unfortunately.

The Lakers! I know them. Aren’t they good this year?

Yes, I can confirm they are quite good. In fact, they’re the best team in the Western Conference with a record of 49-14, which is 5.5 games better than the next team in their conference. They’re also top-three defensive team.

Why 5.5 games? How can a team be a half game better if all games are whole?

I ... don’t know.

Well, when can I watch the Lakers play again?

The Lakers are scheduled to play on July 31 against their intercity rivals, the LA Clippers.

Here’s the full slate of games they’re set to play in Orlando:

All but one of their games will be nationally televised on ESPN or TNT. You can also watch all eight games locally on Spectrum SportsNet.

I know the roster has changed a bit since they last played. Who’s on the team now?

In alphabetical order, the Lakers’ roster (as of right this second) consists of:

  1. Kostas Antetokounmpo
  2. Devontae Cacok
  3. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  4. Alex Caruso
  5. Quinn Cook
  6. Anthony Davis
  7. Jared Dudley
  8. Danny Green
  9. Talen Horton-Tucker
  10. Dwight Howard
  11. LeBron James
  12. Kyle Kuzma
  13. JaVale McGee
  14. Markieff Morris
  15. Rajon Rondo
  16. J.R. Smith
  17. Dion Waiters

Their head coach is Frank Vogel.

Avery Bradley was originally on the roster, but won’t travel with the Lakers to Orlando for personal reasons. The Lakers have replaced him with Smith, a move they just made official on Wednesday. We will update this section when and if they add anyone else. For example, general manager Rob Pelinka says they still are not certain if Howard is going or not.

It should also be noted that Antetokounmpo and Cacok are two-way players, and while they could not participate in the playoffs in a normal year, NBA teams are being allowed to make their two-way players playoff-eligible in this unique season in order to be better prepared for injuries or illness. Cacok or Antetokounmpo would just have to be named to the gameday active roster in order to play.

Antetokounmpo? Like the one that won the MVP last year?

No — at least not yet.

Who are our star players?

These guys.

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

What about Alex Caruso?

Yes, him too.

Did the Lakers already clinch their spot in the playoffs?

Yes, they’re one of 12 teams with a guaranteed spot in the postseason. They only need to win three games to clinch the No. 1 seed, although that doesn’t mean a whole lot now that home court advantage isn’t a thing.

Hey, they’d still win their conference and division! That counts for something, right?

If you’re a Clippers fan, sure.

Is there anything else I should know?

That you’re important and someone cares about you.

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

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