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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

10 Standout Games for Los Angeles Lakers in Upcoming Season

10 Games Laker Fans Won't Want to Miss

Los Angeles Lakers
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Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers may not think they have much to look forward to this season, but there are definitely several games worth watching. The Lakers will play in 25 nationally televised games, which most think seems high, but the Lakers remain one of the top draws in the league and are a storyline during up or down years. Here are 10 of the most interesting games to look forward to.

10. Opening Night: Houston Rockets at Lakers

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
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10. Opening Night: Houston Rockets at Lakers

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
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Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets will visit Staples Center to kick off the 2014-15 campaign. The game will air on TNT despite Charles Barkley’s desire to shovel dirt on top of Kobe Bryant’s grave. Last year’s matchups were hotly contested between these two teams beyond the obvious Howard-Lakers connection. Harden has never been a fan-favorite in LA and always brings his best against Kobe. There will be plenty of energy as The Mamba returns.

9. Oct. 31: Los Angeles Clippers "at" Lakers

Los Angeles Clippers  v Los Angeles Lakers
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9. Oct. 31: Los Angeles Clippers "at" Lakers

Los Angeles Clippers  v Los Angeles Lakers
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Hype will swirl around the “Battle for L.A.” themes that will never stick, but Clippers fans can keep thinking they run the city for as long as they like. Steve Ballmer will get his first taste of the hallway rivalry, and both teams promise to be healthy for this first meeting. That the game is on a Friday night Halloween makes for even more fun, though the rivalry usually provides plenty of tricks and treats.

8. Dec. 5: Lakers at Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics
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8. Dec. 5: Lakers at Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics
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A December trip to Boston is always interesting, regardless of the situations both teams find themselves in. Rajon Rondo is returning from injury, so the teams can have at least a couple familiar faces from their finals matchups that feel like took place forever ago. Rookies Marcus Smart and Julius Randle will get their first taste of the game’s most historic rivalry as well.

7. Christmas Day: Lakers at Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers
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7. Christmas Day: Lakers at Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers
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Any Christmas Day game featuring the Lakers provides plenty of storylines. NBA fans will complain about the Lakers playing on the biggest regular season stage yet again, but the rating will be just as high as if the Lakers weren’t in the middle of one of the lowest stretches in franchise history. Kobe will be playing in one of the last few such games, so look forward to plenty of “Kobe, Derrick Rose return” headlines.

6. Jan. 15: Cleveland Cavaliers at Lakers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers
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6. Jan. 15: Cleveland Cavaliers at Lakers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers
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LeBron James’ lone visit to Staples Center with his new/old team is as interesting as any game on the Lakers’ schedule. The Lakers will probably get stomped, but watching how the chemistry works with three superstars (James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving) will be the most intriguing and important storyline of the season.

5. Jan. 19: Lakers at Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
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5. Jan. 19: Lakers at Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
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Barring an injury or midseason trade, this will be Steve Nash’s last game at the U.S. Airways Center, where he won two MVPs and carved out one of the league’s most indelible careers. The building will be packed and emotions will flow as Nash’s Hall of Fame career will reach one of its final milestones. Fans across the league will keep their fingers crossed for Nash’s health. Scheduling it so early is no coincidence.

4. Jan. 29: Bulls at Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol
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4. Jan. 29: Bulls at Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol
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Pau Gasol will meet a warm welcome in his return to Los Angeles as fans will have their only chance to thank him for the two titles he helped hang on Staples Center’s wall. That being said, don’t think for one second Kobe will want his dear friend to walk out of that arena with a win, so look for one of Bryant’s best performances of the year.

3. Feb. 1: Lakers at New York Knicks

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers
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3. Feb. 1: Lakers at New York Knicks

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers
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This game will mark one of Kobe’s final trips to the “Mecca of Basketball.” If the Lakers are trudging through yet another season heading towards the lottery, look for plenty of rumors and headlines pushing for a Kobe-to-New York trade. It may sound outlandish and typing that previous sentence will keep me up tonight, but don’t count that out. Kobe wants to win. Where he does so won’t matter.

2. Feb. 22: Celtics at Lakers

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers
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2. Feb. 22: Celtics at Lakers

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers
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Any game featuring the league’s top two franchises is interesting. Unfortunately, neither ESPN nor TNT thinks it’s interesting enough to televise nationally. Both teams will be mired in forgettable seasons, but the rivalry will compel them to compete just as fervently as ever. Now, whether they’ll be competing for a win or for ping pong balls is another question altogether.

1. Apr. 15: Sacramento Kings at Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers
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1. Apr. 15: Sacramento Kings at Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers
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This could go in a couple directions. If the Lakers completely overachieve, they could be fighting for one of the last playoff spots. If the season doesn’t end as positively, there will always be the intrigue of angry Laker fans booing their team off the court. Either way, Steve Nash’s career will end at this game’s final buzzer, so there should be plenty of interest as the season ends, whether miraculously or mercifully.

Anthony F. Irwin is an NBA writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.