The Los Angeles Lakers play five regular-season games before turning the calendar to 2021.
The NBA is almost back and it feels like it never really left. Just under two months ago the Los Angeles Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy and now here we are, talking about the upcoming 2020-21 season after the shortest offseason in American sports history.
The NBA is gearing up to play a non-bubble 72-game season. The league has not yet released the entire schedule, probably to give themselves the ability to be flexible with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has released the first half of the schedule.
37 games have been made official for the Los Angeles Lakers, with five of those occurring before the calendar turns to the much-anticipated year of 2021. Will the Lakers head into 2021 with a winning record? Let’s break it down.
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, December 22: Win
The Los Angeles Lakers open up the 2020-21 season with the same opponent that kickstarted the Lakers’ title run last season, the Los Angeles Clippers. However, this time, the Lakers will get the better of their LA counterpart.
The Lakers have won the last two matchups against the Clippers and I expect them to extend the streak to three games to open the season. The Lakers simply improved more than the Clippers did in the offseason and while the Lakers are going to rightfully be cautious with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, I do think the two superstars will show up and ball out in this one.
The team’s new-look bench will prove to be too much for the Clippers as the Lakers have the better mix of team defense and bench offense (although the Clippers still have solid scoring off the bench).
The Lakers win a close one to kickstart their title defense.