Much like the NFL owns Thanksgiving Day, the NBA has become a Christmas Day staple. From sun up to sun down, the league showcases their top teams and talent and it rarely — if ever — fails to feature the Los Angeles Lakers in a prime position.
Even as the Lakers have gone through their worst stretch in franchise history, they have always been on the schedule Dec. 25 and given everything that has happened this summer, they were bound for a major matchup.
Last year was equally a high and low point for the 2018-19 NBA season. The Lakers came through with an impressive win over the Golden State Warriors that really made fans excited about what they were capable of. Unfortunately, that was also the game in which LeBron James got injured, completely changing the fortunes of the team’s season as a whole.
Now with a whole new roster and real championship aspirations, the Lakers will be one of the most-watched teams for the 2019-20 season and it makes complete sense the NBA has scheduled them a huge primetime matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Sources: Christmas Day games set for 2019-2020 NBA season include —
Clippers-Lakers at Staples Center
New Orleans at Denver
Boston at Toronto
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2019
It comes as no surprise there will be a battle for Los Angeles on Christmas Day after how this offseason played out.
The Lakers reestablished themselves as championship contenders after trading for Anthony Davis to pair with James. They had the desire to add a third All-Star player in free agency in Kawhi Leonard but he had other plans, teaming up with Paul George on the Clippers to create another championship contender in the city.
It is currently unclear what time slot the Lakers and Clippers will be playing, but considering it is the most marketable game on the Christmas Day schedule, it will likely be in the middle of the day.
The Lakers and Clippers play each other four times every season and that will be the case again in the 2019-20 season. Knowing how the NBA usually makes their schedule, Christmas Day will likely be the first time the two teams meet.
Other Christmas Day games reportedly include the Boston Celtics traveling to the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, the Houston Rockets taking on the Golden State Warriors in their new San Francisco arena, the New Orleans Pelicans traveling to the Denver Nuggets, and the Milwaukee Bucks at the Philadelphia 76ers.