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Sunday, August 24, 2008

2008-09 Laker Games To Look Forward To

With Olympic basketball done (Team USA won the gold today!), we can get back to focusing on the NBA's offseason, and of course, the ongoing events with our Los Angeles Lakers. We're slightly over 2 months away from the start of the NBA season, and with the schedule released, here are the Laker games to look forward to in the 2008-09 season:

  • Oct. 28, Lakers vs. Portland - This of course is opening night in the NBA, and with it, we get a great matchup of Andrew Bynum against Greg Oden. Both players are coming off of injuries, but will be ready for the matchup of the 2 young centers.
  • Nov. 9, Lakers vs. Houston - The Lakers get their first look at the trio of Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and the newly acquired Ron Artest. Artest was rumored to be heading to the Lakers, and he even thought that the team he was heading to when he heard about the trade was the Lakers. Expect a great game on this night.
  • Nov. 30, Lakers. vs. Toronto - This offseason, the Raptors made a nice (and underrated, in my opinion) trade to acquire Jermaine O'Neal. O'Neal will pair up with Chris Bosh to make one of the best front lines in the NBA. Expect many blocked or altered shots when players try to drive into the paint.
  • Dec. 3, Lakers @ Philadelphia - We'll see a lot of entertaining matchups for this game, as we'll see Kobe Bryant against Andre Iguodala, Pau Gasol against newly acquired Elton Brand, and Andrew Bynum against Samuel Dalembert.
  • Dec. 25, Lakers vs. Boston - As we all expected, Lakers vs. Celtics is scheduled for Christmas. This is a rematch from the 2008 NBA finals, but with one big difference: Andrew Bynum will be playing. Bynum will need to show us what was missing from the finals matchup against the Celtics.
  • Jan. 14, Lakers @ San Antonio - The Lakers meet the Spurs, who they knocked out of the playoffs in a surprisingly easy fashion in 5 games in the Western Conference finals. Though the Spurs are an old team, they are still one of the top teams in the NBA, and you can't underestimate them. The Lakers will need to play hard to win this game.
  • Jan. 19, Lakers vs. Cleveland - As usual, this game will be heavily hyped. "Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James" is something that you will hear the announcers say plenty of times during this game, and you know that all eyes will be on them.
  • Apr. 14, Lakers vs. Utah - This is a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals, which went to 6 games. Utah is a tough team to beat with the combination of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, but the Lakers have shown they can beat them. This is the last game of the season for the Lakers, which if this season is anything like last season, it could decide a higher (or lower) seeding in the playoffs.

This season will be an interesting one with the ultra-competitive Western Conference teams all fighting for the 8 playoff spots. The return of Andrew Bynum will make the Lakers an even better team than last season. We've been waiting to see the extremely tall frontcourt of Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom, and we will get our first look at them October 28 when the regular season starts.

I've listed games that I look forward to above, but do you have any others that you look forward to seeing this season? Sound off in the comments if there's a game that you are excited to see.