The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, boasting 16 NBA championships, and some of the best players in NBA history, including Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant.
Los Angeles has struggled as of late though, with not a lot for the Laker faithful to cheer for over the past 4 years or so. The Lakers have not made the Playoffs since the 2012-13 NBA season, and it’s the longest playoff drought the team has ever been in.
With all the young talent Magic Johnson and the Lakers now possess, the Lakers are about to enter a new era. Kobe Bryant is gone, and it’s time for the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle to carry the torch into the next era of purple and gold dominance in the NBA.
Here are the top 5 games to look out for the Lakers’ schedule next season, all of these are bound to be exciting.
5. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Season Opener
Just as the Lakers are entering a new era, their brothers across the city are doing something similar.
After losing Chris Paul in a trade to the Houston Rockets this offseason, the Clippers have a sense of starting over surrounding them, even if they did manage to retain Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
It’ll be interesting to see how both squads look with new starting point guards controlling the offense, Lonzo Ball for the Lakers and Patrick Beverley for the Clippers. On top of that, the development of Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle during the off-season will be a big question mark that may be answered during this game, and we’ll finally see how Griffin and Jordan can perform without one of the greatest point guards in the league setting the table for them.
As is every meeting between these two, this one should be fun.
4. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers – November 15th
The number one and number two overall picks going head-to-head inside Staples Center, what more could you want?
Every NBA fan will be tuning into this one, as it’ll be our first chance to see Lonzo Ball match up against Markelle Fultz for the first time in the pros.
We’ll also get to see the likes of Ben Simmons going up against Brandon Ingram, and Joel Embiid, praying he’s not injured.
Who knows, this could also be a preview of the 2020 NBA Finals if things go as planned.
3. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – Christmas Day Game
You’d be silly if you didn’t think the Christmas Day game against the Timberwolves wouldn’t be must-watch TV for Laker fans.
Watching these two up-and-coming teams going up against each other has been fun in the past, but with all the moves the Wolves have made this season, including adding guys such as Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, and Jeff Teague, plus the young talent the Lakers have added to their roster, PLUS the fact the game will be held on Christmas, and you have all the makings of a great game of basketball.
2. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets – November 3rd
It may not seem like much on paper considering where the Nets and Lakers are bound to be standing-wise at this point in the season, but many pairs of eyes will be on this game.
It’ll be the first chance for D’Angelo Russell, Brook Lopez and Timofey Mozgov to go up against their former teams after Russell was traded to the Nets along with Mozgov’s terrible contract, the Lakers receiving center Brook Lopez in return.
You can bet all the money you have D’Angelo will be looking to light up the Lakers’ defense for 40+ points this night, hoping to prove to the Lakers management they made the wrong decision trading him.
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – February 8th
Regardless, this game will hold a lot of meaning for the Lakers’ franchise, even moreso if Los Angeles is fighting for a playoff spot this late into the season.
With Paul George being traded to the Thunder early on this offseason, the Lakers will be using this final game of four against OKC next year to hopefully try and woo PG into signing with the Lakers when his contract runs out at the end of next season.
Add onto the fact the Lakers and Thunder may both be battling for a spot in the top 8 of the Western Conference standings, and this game could have a lot riding on it for both teams. A win may be crucial for the Lakers in more way than one.