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Despite the team having missed out on the playoffs for six consecutive seasons, it’s a great time to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan.

After landing superstar LeBron James via free agency before the start of the 2018-19 campaign, the Lakers created a dynamic duo by acquiring three-time All-NBA First Team center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Given the fact that the team now has two of the best and most exciting players to watch in the league, it’s safe to say that the Lakers will be a team worth watching this season. TV executives seem to think so too, having chosen the Lake Show to play on national television a whopping 31 times in the upcoming year.

With the NBA season looming large on the horizon, we’ve highlighted five of the hottest upcoming Laker games that you do NOT want to miss!

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers | October 22

The Lakers start the season with a marquee matchup “on the road” in their own city and arena against the Clippers. This game will be a litmus test for both squads as they look to get acclimated after an offseason that featured tremendous roster changes for both Los Angeles teams.

The Clippers, much like the Lakers, pulled off a serious offseason coup by signing two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and trading for 2019 All-NBA First Team forward Paul George. Given the caliber of talent on both Southern California based squads, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the two teams develop a heated rivalry over the foreseeable future.

Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers | November 10

Just over two weeks after their season opener, the Lakers will face yet another significant test when the defending champion Toronto Raptors come to town on November 10. Despite losing Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers, the Raptors still have a formidable roster that includes playoff standouts Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet as well as Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and newly acquired forward Stanley Johnson.

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers | December 25

The people who make the schedule for the NBA have given sports fans everywhere quite the present: a Christmas Day faceoff between the Clippers and the Lakers. Those of us who prefer watching basketball on television over forced interaction with family members over the holidays will surely have their eyes glued to this game, which is one of five games on the schedule for December 25.

New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers | January 3

Even though neither the Pelicans nor the Lakers made the playoffs last year, the early January matchup between the two squads is one that will surely be worth checking out. The two teams came together this offseason to pull off one of the biggest trades in recent history which saw Anthony Davis dealt to Los Angeles for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and four first-round picks.

It’s no secret that the Lakers got the best player in the deal, but the Pelicans have done a fantastic job of rebuilding their team this offseason. While it’s uncertain whether New Orleans will be able to make the playoffs right out of the gate, they’ve built a team full of likable young talent and they should be one of the more exciting teams to watch for the next few years. It should be very interesting to see how Ball, Ingram and Hart fare in their return to Los Angeles.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers | April 9

The final matchup that we’ve highlighted is yet another measuring stick game for the Lakers that will take place late in the regular season against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors fell just short of winning three straight NBA titles after losing the Raptors in the Finals, but they still have a stacked squad that remains one of the favorites to make it back to the Finals in 2020. Former Laker D’Angelo Russell will be relishing the opportunity to defeat the Lakers after having been traded by the team just a season and a half after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick back in 2015.

(Cropped image courtesy of Eric Wong via Flickr. | CC BY-ND 2.0)