Now that the majority of the big-name free agents have been spoken for and officially signed to their long-term deals, NBA fans can begin to look forward to a fresh start for the regular season. With the NBA regular season on the horizon comes the schedule release, and fans can begin circling the dates, in which their teams are involved in some of the most marquee matchups of the season.
Following the aftermath of the NBA free agency period, most would agree that the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2021 offseason. Los Angeles traded away Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, two of the key pieces from their 2020 championship run, to acquire former NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. In addition to Westbrook, the Lakers also acquired 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony to give them a ‘Big 4’.
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Nets & Lakers Set To Meet on Christmas Day
If there is any team that can stop the Lakers it would be Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets who have more than enough star power to compete. After injuries prevented fans from ever seeing the fully loaded Nets/Lakers matchup happen last year, the NBA isn’t taking any chances this season as the teams are set to meet on Christmas Day according to ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
NBA Insider Sam Amick also adds that the Nets could have a chance to spoil the defending NBA Champions’ ring ceremony as they could have a shot at revenge on opening night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
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Nets & Lakers Both Have Something To Prove
For NBA fans, this Christmas Day matchup between the Lakers and Nets will be something special. If all goes to plan, it will be the first time since Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals, where LeBron and KD will share the court.
The Lakers and Nets were expected to meet in the NBA Finals last year, but injuries put a hold to all of that as well. Both teams’ stars were dealing with injuries that eventually led to early playoff exits. Anthony Davis suffered a groin injury that held him out of the teams’ first-round matchup with the Phoenix Suns and James Harden and Kyrie Irving suffered injuries that had them miss time in their second-round matchup with the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Both teams will be on a revenge tour in their quests to secure the 2022 NBA title, and having the blockbuster matchup on the NBA’s biggest day of the regular season, should make for some great theater.
Blake Griffin Sounds off on Patty Mills Signing
The Nets remained relatively quiet during this NBA offseason, due largely to the fact that they made the majority of their noise during the regular season last year, acquiring All-Stars like Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin.
While he wasn’t a name atop the free agency board Patty Mills was still sought out by many teams in free agency including the Lakers because of the inspiring brand of basketball that he plays every single second he is on the court. His new teammate Blake Griffin is thrilled to see what he can add to the Nets.
“Patty adds just dynamic shooting. That’s always a need for us, but also just a veteran point guard who, you know, playing against him, it seems like he’s always like that guy that comes up with a big play, makes a big play — defense, offense, whatever it is — hits a big shot,” Griffin said of Mills per NetsDaily. “But he’s also a guy that can facilitate and you know, get in the teeth of defense makes the right decisions. Just a really good basketball player.”
Get your popcorn ready Nets fans, this season is already shaping up to be some quality theater.