The NBA has officially released the regular season schedule for the 2018-19 season that has created plenty of excitement around the league. Much of that renewed feeling has surrounded the Los Angeles Lakers after the big splash addition of All-Star forward LeBron James in free agency earlier this summer.
With that in mind, here are five marquee games to keep an eye on this upcoming campaign:
Oct. 20 vs. Rockets
It will be the first time that James will officially step onto the court at Staples Center in a home game as a member of the Lakers. There will be a formidable challenge in front of them facing the Houston Rockets, who are led by their star-studded backcourt of reigning league MVP James Harden and perennial All-Star Chris Paul that pushed them to just a win away from reaching the NBA Finals last season. The intensity level and excitement for this contest should be through the roof.
Nov. 21 at Cavaliers
This will be James’ first trip back to the Quicken Loans Arena as an opponent since March 2014 in what will be a nationally televised game. Unlike the last time around, emotions from the home crowd should be different with the four-time league MVP back in town.
Dec. 25 at Warriors
The new-look Lakers will get their first matchup of the season against the back-to-back defending champions on Christmas Day. There will be plenty of star power on the court in what will be a chance for Los Angeles to gauge how far they are from competing for an NBA title.
Jan. 2 vs. Thunder
There is a little more added fire for this contest this time around with All-Star forward Paul George deciding to spurn Los Angeles before free agency began this summer as he elected to stay in Oklahoma City. There will be plenty of boos directed at George in what should be another exciting matchup.
Feb. 7 at Celtics
Possible rivalry renewed between the two most historic franchises in the league with both teams potentially being among the top of their respective conference. An added bonus in this meeting is that it features the spot matchup between former Cavaliers’ teammates James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.