The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly one of the NBA’s crown jewel franchises. Playing in one of the country’s major markets, having the illustrious history full of championship trophies, and being a contender damned near every year will do that for a team, and the 2019-20 version of this team may be as exciting as any since the Shaq & Kobe-led championship squads of the early 2000s.
After trading for superstar big man Anthony Davis in the offseason to pair him with the game’s biggest name and (still) its best talent in LeBron James, the Lakers have a legitimate shot at competing with the rest of the West’s elite in 2019-20 and beyond. To help out Lakers fans determine which game they may want to look into catching at the Staples Center this season, we’ve highlighted the 5 biggest Lakers home games below. We’ve also included a detailed blog on the Staples Center seating chart.
The Top 5 Lakers Games to Watch This Season
Golden State Warriors vs. Lakers
Two of the NBA’s most polarizing franchises face off four separate times this upcoming season, with the Warriors and Lakers’ first regular season meeting coming on November 13th at the Staples Center. LA’s first visit to the new Chase Center in San Francisco will come on February 8th, and they face off once more on February 27th in the Bay Area, and April 9th back in LA.
The Warriors are coming off of four straight NBA Finals appearances, and the Lakers have done everything in their power to capitalize on the tail end of LeBron James’ prime in purple and gold. No opposing team knows King James more intimately than the one whom he met in the finals for three straight seasons with Cleveland before he signed with the Lakers as a free agent. These should be very tight contests, with the added luxury for LeBron that he now has the game’s best big man to dish it to if needed during crunch-time against the Splash Bros.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Lakers
The Lakers’ first matchup with the Pelicans during the 2019-20 NBA season on November 27th was already going to be intriguing, given Anthony Davis forced his way out of NOLA and to the City of Angels this past summer, but now add in the element of #1 overall pick Zion Williamson playing for the Pellies, and you have a recipe for an exciting matchup.
Zion enters the league as the game’s most incredible rookie physical specimen since LeBron himself was drafted in 2003. Basketball fans and network executives alike have to be drooling at the thought of these two incredible athletes meeting at the rim as either one of the two elevates for a dunk. What was becoming a stagnant Pelicans roster that was stuck in a rut despite employing a superstar like AD has now quickly become one of the most interesting, young, and talented teams that the league has to offer.
Young guns they acquired from the Lakers like Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball should pair quite nicely with Zion and other potential big-time rookies Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The revenge game potential for Davis against his former team is huge.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Lakers
Not much needs to be said about the matchups between these two franchises that share the same home court in LA, but in what’s typically been a very one-sided rivalry in favor of the Lakers may now be swinging in the other direction, as the Clippers look to be the most improved team of any in the NBA after trading for star forward Paul George and signing the game’s top available free agent in Kawhi Leonard.
The incredibly intriguing duos of LeBron & Anthony Davis versus Kawhi & Paul George should be one of the game’s best matchups in the next few years, and this should keep demand for tickets to see these two teams play one another at Staples Center at an all-time high. They first meet on October 22nd in an early season game that could be an early indicator if either or both teams are considered to be among the NBA’s elite. Another anticipated contest between these two Tinseltown teams will be on Christmas Day, in what could be one of the more expensive games of the NBA’s regular season.
Toronto Raptors vs. Lakers
The Lakers play the defending champion twice in 2019-20, with the first matchup coming on November 10th in LA. While these games will lack a bit of intrigue compared to if Kawhi had stayed up north, whenever your team plays the champs, players, the media, and fan bases alike get up for it. The team that could never seem to get past LeBron while he was in Cleveland has now shown it can go all the way. Expect a fun (and intense) on-court matchup between LeBron and the emerging star Pascal Siakam, who played a huge role in the Raptors’ title run last year.
The Raptors will have to prove plenty of doubters who say Toronto won’t be able to get it done without Kawhi wrong, but they still should be one of the best teams in the East and put on a show whenever matched up with a team with the clout and star power that the Lakers have.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Lakers
LeBron back in Cleveland will never not be one of the season’s biggest matchups, and this one will be no different. Now that King James is out west, he only comes into town once per year, which will make their only matchup in Cleveland on March 26th a special (and expensive) one. Expect to see a riled up crowd pack out Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, no matter where the Cavs sit in the Eastern Conference standings at the time.
Fans watching from home won’t have to wait as long to catch LeBron against his old team, as they play each other on January 13th at the Staples Center. At the onset of the season, it looks like a matchup that could get ugly for the Cavs, as LeBron will surely bring his best game against many of his old teammates, but a motivated LeBron James will always be a fun game that’s worth catching.