The Los Angeles Lakers got their rings in bittersweet fashion. They opened the year again in a 116-109 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. Luckily for them, the turnaround to get a win under their belt is under the tree on Christmas Day against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks are coming off an opening loss themselves to the Phoenix Suns. Despite being winless themselves, Luka Doncic is poised to have an MVP-level campaign serving as a potential Lakers playoff opponent. Doncic and LeBron James could be the beginning of the league’s torch-passing that we all love to watch.
Last season, the Lakers dominated the Mavericks by winning three of their four matchups.
The Lakers are basically using the start of the year as a continued pre-season. They’re working in a number of new players including starters and reserves. Their first loss showed a lot of the warts of their shift from last season. Dennis Schröder and Montrezl Harrell had strong debuts. Now, it’s a matter of turning those performances into victories.
Dallas added a few new faces as well. Their goals mirror those of the Lakers. It’s a marathon to make the playoffs healthy. Last season they lost Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell, and Kristaps Pozingis to end the year.
Speaking of injuries, LeBron tweaked his ankle, but it appears he’s good to go according to Lakers reporter Ryan Ward:
LeBron James on Christmas Day showdown with Mavs: "I'll be ready to go tomorrow. I've never missed a Christmas Day game, so I don't plan on missing one tomorrow."
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 24, 2020
Game time is scheduled for 5 PM PST/8 PM EST on ESPN.