The NBA released the first half of its schedule on Friday and it’s filled with many treats for Los Angeles Lakers fans. The season is inching closer and closer with 71 days of rest for the defending champions. Silver Screen and Roll’s Harrison Faigen shared their first-half schedule. There was also an update with air travel coverage courtesy of Positive Residual.
— Harrison Film Room (@hmfaigen) December 4, 2020
We highlight the best games to look forward to next season. Here are the 10 of the most entertaining matchups to mark on your calendar.
1. Big Brother Meets Little Brother – Lakers vs. Clippers – December 22, 7 PM (TNT)
Despite an underwhelming year last season, the Los Angeles Clippers are likely still the Lakers’ biggest threat next year. The crosstown rivals should be motivated and ready to come for the crown. The NBA wasted no time waiting for this matchup, scheduling the two foes on opening night.
Last season’s series tied at 2-2 with the Lakers taking the latter victories. It’s yet to be announced if rings will be presented. If they are, it will just add more fuel to the fire. New Laker Montrezl Harrell will also have a chance for some get-back.
2. Big Brother Meets The OTHER LIttle Brother – Lakers vs. Warriors – January 18, 7 PM (TNT)
The NBA has done a tremendous job of making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a day of reflection with sports. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the few teams that will get the honor as a competitor on the holiday. This season will be no different.
The Lakers will be taking on the Golden State Warriors.
This marks the second holiday game on the Lakers’ schedule, along with their Christmas Day matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. LeBron James and Steph Curry have not shared the floor since James saw his Lakers take them down, 127-101. It was a bittersweet night, as LeBron suffered an untimely groin injury.
3. Battle of The Titans – Lakers vs. Nets – February 18, 7 PM (TNT)
LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are going to be must-see TV. It’ll be the first time the duos share the court since they were both put together. The Lakers will host the Nets on a Thursday night.
This could be a preview of the NBA Finals that will draw all eyes.
4. Unfinished Business – Lakers vs. Heat – February 20, 5:30 PM (ABC)
After a six-game slugfest, the Miami Heat will seek to avenge their title loss. Jimmy Butler will lead his surprising bunch into Staples Center for a Saturday primetime showdown. Last year, the Lakers finished 8-2 against the Heat including the regular and post-season.
The Heat picked up one of the Lakers impact guys from last season in Avery Bradley. Adding this nugget to their new rivalry should make for an interesting first bout.
5. Blood Ties – Lakers vs. Pelicans – January 15, 7 PM (ESPN)
The Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans will forever be linked by way of Anthony Davis. Since his exit from the franchise, he continues to catapult into a new level of superstardom. The Pelicans landed on their feet by landing Zion Williams to piece with ex-Lakers Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and all-star Brandon Ingram.
Both squads will square off in a Friday night clash at Staples Center.
6. Family Ties – Lakers vs. Suns – March 2, 7 PM (TNT)
The Phoenix Suns have gotten a complete make-over. After finishing the NBA Bubble with an 8-0 record, they picked up future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. Paul joins Jae Crowder to add to Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.
Paul and James have always been brothers before anything, but somebody has to have the prize. The Lakers will be battling the Suns for control of the Pacific Division crown. They finished 3-0 against the Suns last season.
7. Crown Me – Lakers @ Bucks – January 21, 4:30 PM (TNT)
Giannis Antetokoumpo and the Milwaukee Bucks also added a helpful piece in their pursuit to dethrone James and the Lakers. Jrue Holiday joins the two-time MVP and they will host the Lakers. This will mark the start of a seven-game East coast swing for L.A.
The team split meetings at home last season. It should be an MVP battle being James, Antetokoumpo, and AD all season long.
8. One vs. One vs. One – Lakers vs. Timberwolves – December 27, 7 PM (NBATV)
Anthony Edwards is one of the most polarizing top picks ever. He joins the likes of James and AD as the number one selection taken by a franchise. After a brief taste of the playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves are back rebuilding and looking for an identity.
While not anywhere near the tier of the Lakers, the young talent between Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns, and D’Angelo Russell is intriguing. They have the chance to get back on their feet and into the conversation as one of the league’s emerging squads. Fans will get a chance to see what this year’s number one looks like against the league’s best.
9. The Teachers vs. The Pupil – Lakers vs. Mavericks – December 25, 5 PM (ABC)
Luka Doncic is the league’s newest star. While he’s risen up the ranks, both James and Davis still serve as the barometer for stardom. Doncic will have a chance to take an early game off the Lakers in a Christmas Day primer.
The Lakers won their series against the Mavericks last year, 3-1.
10. No Love Lost – Lakers at Celtics – January 30, 5:30 PM (ESPN)
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. The Lakers have hung their 17th championship banner. This brings them at a deadlock in total titles. By the end of the year, either squad could take the lead.
Last season both teams held homecourt and split games.