With free agency in the rearview and the start of the 2019-20 NBA season still a couple of months away, the current talk of the town is the leaks and releases of what the schedule will look like.
As is normally the case, the Los Angeles Lakers will likely have a ton of nationally televised games after having a successful offseason in which they acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans and built a championship-caliber roster around him and LeBron James.
The biggest game on the Lakers schedule will be on Christmas Day when they take on Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center — a game that was anticipated by just about everyone before the schedule came out.
One of the other big games on the team’s schedule is Martin Luther King Jr. Day where the NBA always televises a handful of games like Christmas. The Lakers hosted the Warriors on MLK Jr. Day last season and were blown out while James was out with an injury.
This season, the Lakers will be hosting the Boston Celtics as a part of a triple-header that also includes the Golden State Warriors playing the Portland Trail Blazers and Russell Westbrook facing his old team with the Houston Rockets taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: Marquee slate of NBA games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20, for the 2019-20 season schedule most notably include:
Golden State vs. Portland, Lakers vs. Boston, Houston vs. Oklahoma City.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 12, 2019
The Celtics roster also underwent some overhaul this offseason after arguably their two best players — Kyrie Irving and Al Horford — left in free agency. They also lost key role players like Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes, but they did bring in Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter to help replace them.
Last season, the Lakers and Celtics split their season series with the road team winning each of the two games. The Lakers won on a buzzer-beater by Rajon Rondo in Boston on Feb. 7 and then the Celtics returned the favor with a 120-107 win at Staples Center on Mar. 9.
MLK Jr. Day will presumably be the first of two matchups between the two teams and hopefully by January, they will still be at full strength and have already built some chemistry.