How do you write a Lakers game preview for the first game of the season? Especially after dropping over two thousand words for their season preview? Well, you kind of don’t. So I won’t do so now.
Look, the Lakers play tonight. It’s their first game of the season. They play the Clippers, their co-tenants at the Staples Center and the team that has pretty much owned this matchup for the last handful of years. The Clippers don’t project to be the same caliber of team they were before trading Chris Paul, but they still project to be in the hunt for a 5-8 seed in the playoffs.
If we were going to dive into X’s and O’s, I’d talk about how Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are still a dynamic front court pairing. How Danilo Gallinari is a huge upgrade on the wing. And how Patrick Beverly is going to be a menace defensively — especially in his matchup with Lonzo Ball. These things matter and, well, will likely be a huge factor in this game.
But, honestly, the above paragraph is about all I’m going to say about the X’s and O’s of this game. We know what the Lakers did in the preseason. We have the key stats and have some of the more important takeaways. Those things matter too, but, in a way, they really don’t.
The regular season is here and these games really do count now. For that reason alone, I am excited. Add in the journey that is ahead, with Lonzo starting his career, Ingram looking to take the next step in his 2nd season, Randle and Nance battling for PF minutes, Kuzma looking to usurp them both, and Brook Lopez being the anchor in the middle and I’m geeked for this year to start.
I don’t know how many games this team will win. I don’t even know how competitive they’ll be from night to night. I do expect them, over time, to be a fun team that plays hard. And, heading into tonight’s game, that’s about all that is on my mind.
The NBA is back. Lakers basketball is back. And I couldn’t be more excited about it. Let’s go.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TNT.