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NBA To Begin Season Earliest Since 1980 It's For Real Oct. 17. On 19th Lakers vs. Clippers

Sports Editor

 

August 17, 2017



In an attempt to slow down the coaches’ new trend of frequently resting players the NBA will start this season a couple of weeks earlier. The NBA and many fans want less times when uninjured players are held out of games. The slightly longer time frame of the same 82 games could work in that direction. The opening night schedule on October 17 will include a game between defending champion

Golden State and Houston, which has acquired star point guard Chris Paul from the Clippers. Two nights later the Clippers will play the Lakers, showcasing Laker rookie Lonzo Ball. It’s agreed that Ball is a tremendous talent with his ball handling but this will be his first 82-game schedule and often he’ll be matched against NBA veteran defensive guards. An example is Patrick Beverly, a first team all-NBA defensive guard last season. As usual, there will be five nationally televised games on Christmas Day. The lineup includes a game between the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves. who have acquired Jimmy Butler and one between Oklahoma City, which has acquired coveted forward Paul George, and Houston. George, who has told friends he intends to sign with the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in

a year, was recently traded from Indiana to Oklahoma City. Reportedly, he talked with Kevin Durant, who had left Oklahoma City after nine years, and was told positive things about the Thunder. Yes, there is a lot of movement among NBA players and rosters get different looks from one season to another. The Lakers, rebuilding from five dismal seasons since the death of owner Jerry Buss, are hoping to sign two elite free agents next summer after getting a start on some improvement now. They hope George will be one of them. Locally, fans will be very interested in how the competition goes between two former Laker greats. Magic Johnson has come back to acquire talent for the Lakers and Jerry West, rejected by the Lakers when he wanted to work for them, now brings in talent for the Clippers.

The Clippers have never won an NBA championship but have beaten the Lakers in 18 of their last 20 meetings. The Lakers and Clippers will again share dates in Staples Center but the Clippers are hoping to move into a new arena in Inglewood when their Staples Center lease expires in 2024.

 

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