The 2021-22 LA Lakers have arguably the greatest collection of talent ever seen in the NBA. The team has a total of 60 All-Star appearances, and nine of the 15 players on their roster are aged 32 or older. Even a regular-season night could look like an All-Star game if they face the right opponent.
The LA Lakers haven't had the start they were looking for. They are 0-5 in the preseason, and there are a lot of questions surrounding their chemistry. Nevertheless, LeBron James and co enter the season with a championship on their mind. They hope to raise banner no. 18 in the rafters, and are the overwhelming favorites to win the Western Conference.
In a vote during the NBA's 2021 Annual GM Survey, GMs of various teams have given the LA Lakers an 80% probability of grabbing the first seed in the West. Naturally, there aren't many teams that would challenge this LA Lakers squad. However, let's have a look at five matchups that are must-watch for the Purple and Gold fans:
The LA Lakers have 42 nationally televised games in the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season, the most in the league. That means they have one nationally-televised TV matchup every alternate game, so evidently they'll face a lot of great teams. So without further ado, let's have a look at five such matchups;
#1 Golden State Warriors vs LA Lakers - October 19th, 2021
Opening night of any NBA season is filled with marquee matchups, and the 2021-22 NBA season is no different.
The league kicks off its 75th anniversary season with a blockbuster matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. That will be followed up by a matchup between the LA Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. The four teams playing on opening night are the top four pre-season favorites for the 2022 NBA championship.
Having met in the NBA Finals four consecutive times, any game featuring Stephen Curry and LeBron James is must-watch television. The two superstar teams faced off in the 2021 NBA play-in tournament too, a game that turned out to be one of the biggest of the year.
The LA Lakers will host the Warriors for their season and home-opener. They will then face the Warriors three more times in the regular season - February 12th (away), March 5th (home) and April 7th (away).
#2 Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers - October 22nd, 2021
LA Lakers won't have to wait for too long to exact revenge for their early postseason exit last year, as they'll host the Phoenix Suns in their second game of the campaign.
The Suns eliminated the LA Lakers in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs after the 17-time champions had taken a 2-1 lead. The bitter loss stung even more because had Anthony Davis not got injured, the Lakers might have won that series.
The LA Lakers will take on the Phoenix Suns four times in the regular season - October 22nd (home), December 21st (home), March 13th (away) and April 5th (away).