The 2019-2020 season is the start of the Lakers battle for Los Angeles against the crosstown Clippers. In a year of unprecedented league-wide parity, nearly every night will feature a great matchup and an important game.
That being said, here are some of the most important games for the Lakers this season.
Shouldn’t be a surprise that the season-series with the Clippers is at the top of the list. After the Clippers acquired Paul George from the Thunder and signed Kawhi Leonard in free agency, they propelled themselves to the top of the Western Conference and made themselves the odds on favorite to win the NBA Championship.
This season could be the start of a competitive rivalry for years to come, and even with their storied history of success, the Lakers could find themselves second fiddle to the Clippers for years to come, making every game a veritable must-win.
While the games against Boston don’t matter as much in the grand scheme of things, it just feels damn good to beat the Celtics. The Lakers finally have their two stars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James and although the Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, they signed Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward looks to make a comeback season.
The Purple and Gold will play the Celtic Green on Martin Luther King, Jr. day (January 20) in Boston and on February 23 in Los Angeles.
Houston took a huge leap this off-season by trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, revitalizing their backcourt by adding a former MVP winner. The Warriors took a step back after losing Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson to injury, and the Rockets were always the closest thing to kryptonite to Golden State in the Western Conference.
The Rockets face the Lakers on January 18, February 6, and March 12. The Lakers will have to battle hard to take home a win.
Anthony Davis will make his return to New Orleans on November 27 while the former Lakers young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart will be back in Staples Center for the first time since the trade on January 3rd.
The Lakers will see the new-look Warriors led by Stephen Curry and former Lakers number two overall pick on November 13th.
Danny Green will likely receive his championship ring when he returns to Toronto on March 24.
The Lakers home opener will be played on October 25 against the Utah Jazz.
31 of the Lakers 82 games will be on national television. They have 12 sets of back-to-back games. Their longest road trip will feature six games to end the month of March.
With the league in shape that it is, every team should be able to compete with one another on a nightly basis. The Lakers will have tough games far more often than in the past and will have to manage the workload of every player while competing for a top spot in the Western Conference.