Amidst the quietest phase of the offseason, fans finally have some new developments to look forward to in the immediate future. After the news of a Lakers-Clippers Christmas day matchup leaked, it triggered speculation on who the purple and gold would compete against on certain dates, starting with opening night.
Thanks to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times, the wait appears to be over:
Barring last-minute changes, Lakers open the season at home vs. Minnesota. Why Minnesota? No. 1 pick vs. No. 2, Towns vs. Russell.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) August 11, 2015
The NBA elected to take a page out of the NFL’s book this year, slotting the top two draft choices against one another in their first games of the regular season.
There will be a few other intriguing matchups other than just a battle of the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, though. We already saw a preview in the first game of summer league play in Las Vegas with Jordan Clarkson against Zach LaVine. D’Angelo Russell should be lined up against Ricky Rubio, while Kobe Bryant — at small forward — will be guarding the reigning Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ first game could bear a difficult task, as he will face the newest Lakers center and defensive anchor in Roy Hibbert.
Both teams have intriguing young cores, looking to take steps forward in the rebuilding process. Although it won’t be a contest of two clear-cut playoff contenders, the amount of young talent on the floor should attract plenty of attention when these teams tip-off their respective 2015-16 regular season campaigns.
The entire NBA schedule will officially be released on Wednesday, August 12, at 3 PM PST on NBA TV.