After injuries derailed their first season with LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers overhauled their roster and made sweeping changes to the coaching staff.
With Anthony Davis now in the fold and Frank Vogel having replaced Luke Walton as head coach, the Lakers again face lofty expectations heading into the 2019-20 NBA season. As the Golden State Warriors no longer reign over the league as a super team, Davis and James form arguably one of the top duos.
The process of beginning to gel together will begin with training camp and in the preseason, but naturally, most of the excitement lies with marquee dates on the 2019-20 NBA schedule.
Planned games for opening night: Los Angeles Lakers/LA Clippers and Toronto Raptors/New Orleans Pelicans.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2019
As it currently stands, it is expected to be a Clippers home game, according to Brad Turner of Los Angeles Times:
Sources confirm that tentative plan is Clippers and Lakers will meet opening night Oct. 22 at Staples Center. It will be Clippers home game. Here we go: Kawhi/PG and LeBron/AD #NBAhoops
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) August 3, 2019
The Lakers tipped off the 2018-19 NBA season in a road matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, which they lost despite 26 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists from James in his debut. Prior to that point, the hadn’t begun a season on the road since facing the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 2, 2005.
With Opening Night less than three months away, there is plenty of excitement in Los Angeles. For the first time in league history, both teams are viewed as true championship contenders and they could very well meet in the Western Conference.