January looks to be a relatively tough month for the Lakers. Two more tilts with the Thunder, and the team’s first matchup against the defending champion Miami Heat highlight the start to 2013. Thankfully, the Lakers will have the advantage of playing all three games on their home floor.
Road games against the Grizzlies, Spurs and Clippers are other notable, difficult games for Kobe and Co.
On New Year’s Day, Andrew Bynum makes his return to Staples Center. Will he be booed, applauded or a little of both? On the 30th, the Lakers travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns. This will be Steve Nash’s first game in Phoenix since being traded.
While the Suns are obviously inferior to the Lakers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new-look Suns turn in one of their most spirited efforts of the season, trying to upend their old floor general and his new team.
Game of the Month – January 17th vs Miami Heat: The first time the Miami Heat played the Los Angeles Lakers after acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh was Christmas Day, 2010. At the time, the Lakers were the defending, back-to-back champs, and the Heat were the newly minted super team trying to prove their worth.
Flash forward to 2012. The Heat are now the defending champs, and the Lakers, with their new additions, are the stacked team trying to prove they’re championship worthy.
The hype around this game will be heavy and well deserved. Everyone outside of Oklahoma City and Boston will likely be deeming it a Finals preview.
Home Games: 9
Away Games: 7
January 8-9: @Houston, @San Antonio
January 20-21: @Toronto, @Chicago
January 29-30: vs New Orleans, @Phoenix
Nationally Televised Games: 7
January 4th @ Clippers (ESPN), January 9th @ San Antonio (ESPN), January 11th versus OKC (ESPN), January 17th versus Miami (TNT), January 21st @ Chicago (TNT), January 27th versus OKC (ABC), January 30th @ Phoenix (ESPN).
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