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2018-19 NBA Schedule: 5 marquee Lakers games to watch out for

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
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2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers
2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers

When LeBron James signed with the Lakers, all 82 games of their regular season became instantly more interesting. L.A. was already building something fun, coming off a nine-win improvement with a talented young core growing steadily, and cap space to add a max level talent.

LeBron, of course, IS that max level talent. The first time he’ll be repping the Purple and Gold in a game of consequence is their regular season opener against the Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on 18th October. Lawrence Tanter will announce his name for the first time at the Staples Center 2 days later.

There are a number of interesting questions that the season's schedule poses to onlookers before the start of the season. How will the Western Conference's gruelling travel schedule impact LeBron? How do this season’s back to back games impact the 2016 and 2017 #2 draft picks Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who're both coming off injury-plagued seasons?

Will Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart continue to improve at the same rate that they did in their rookie seasons? What can Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley offer off the bench? How much will Rajon Rondo’s attention to detail rub off on the Lakers' young players and help them maximize their output through 82 games?

The following are 5 of the biggest marquee matchups of this season for the Lakers:

#5 Lakers at the Cavaliers, 21st November 2018

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron overcame a torrid reception the last time he returned to Cleveland after switching franchises

Now, does anyone remember what they were doing at 8 PM, Eastern Time on 2nd December, 2010? I do, cuz I remember watching LeBron quieten down whatever the frankly vitriolic Cleveland crowd had to throw at him en route to tallying a 38 point, 8 assist, 5 rebound performance that has become par for the course through his career.

His 'Decision 3.0' was much better managed this time around than when he decided to inform the basketball world of his decision to take his talents to South Beach in 2010 on national television. There is no doubt that the reception he receives this time will be much better than all the finger salutes and jeers he heard when he got back to the Quicken Loans Arena for the first time in the #6 Miami Heat jersey.

Note: They also play each other at the Staples Center on 13th January, 2019

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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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