Lakers lead NBA in national TV games, four-way tie for second

The Lakers are the defending NBA champions. They have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They play in Los Angeles.

OF COURSE, they lead the league in national TV games.

The NBA already announced its opening-night and Christmas slates. With the full first-half schedule revealed, other nationally televised games are now known.

The Lakers lead with 16 followed by the Celtics, Mavericks, Pelicans and Warriors with 14 each.

Here’s how many games each team has on ABC, ESPN and TNT (I didn’t count NBA TV, which doesn’t hold the same stature):

With so many top teams and big stars in the Western Conference, the league is continuing its push to televise these games earlier.

NBA release:

As part of a continuous effort to present national television games to the largest possible audience, the NBA worked closely with its teams and domestic broadcast partners to schedule earlier start times for doubleheaders. During the First Half of the season, each doubleheader across TNT and ESPN will tip off at 7 p.m./9:30 p.m. ET or 7:30 p.m./10 p.m. ET.

Of the seven teams without a nationally televised game – Cavaliers, Kings, Magic, Pistons, Spurs, Thunder and Wizards – Washington, now with Russell Westbrook, has the best chance of getting flexed onto the national schedule.

With Klay Thompson injured, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will have to step up to keep the Warriors in the spotlight as often as initially scheduled (14 times).