The NBA released it's full schedule today for the season that begins October. The Lakers get their championship rings on Oct. 26 at home against the Rockets in a game televised on TNT. One night later, the Clippers open their season on ESPN, as Blake Griffin's first professional game will be against the Trailblazers.
The two-time defending champions will host the preseason pick du jour Miami Heat on Christmas Day, hoping to leave lumps of coal in the stockings of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
The Lakers have NBA Finals rematches with the Celtics, now with 100 percent more Shaquille O'Neal, on Jan. 30 in Los Angeles and Feb. 10 in Boston.
Griffin, former star at the University of Oklahoma, will play his first professional game in his home state against Kevin Durant and the Thunder on February 22.
The Lakers will be nationally televised 19 times: 10 times on ESPN, seven games on TNT, and twice on NBA TV. The Clippers will play 12 games on national television: twice on TNT, four times on ESPN, and six times on NBA TV.
Former Laker Byron Scott brings his Cavaliers to Staples Center to play the Lakers on Jan. 11, although something tells me the resale market for those tickets won't be as hot as in recent years. Former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, now of the Nets, returns to Los Angeles to play his former team on January 14.
The Lakers and Clippers face each other four times at Staples Center, with the Lakers playing host on Feb. 25 and March 25, and the Clippers wearing home whites on Dec. 8 and Jan. 16.
The Clippers play back-to-back nights 22 times, while the Lakers have 15 sets of back-to-back games. In addition, two of the Lakers' back-to-back sets include "road" games against the Clippers. As pointed out by Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus, the Lakers have the fewest number of back-to-back sets in the league. To the victors go the spoils.