On Thursday, the NBA announced that the Los Angeles Lakers will open the 2017-18 season against the LA Clippers on Oct. 19 at Staples Center, two days after the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers launch the new season in a repeat of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Lakers will host the Clippers in the Opening Night extravaganza for both teams in the venue that will also host the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, as the two LA teams share hosting duties at Staples Center for the third time since the arena opened in 1999.
With Chris Paul no longer part of the Clippers and the Lakers looking stronger than they have in several years, the "Battle for LA" should be far more competitive than it has been in recent years, and Opening Night should provide an initial gauge of how far apart the teams are at the outset of the marathon 82-game season.
Speaking of the marathon NBA season, the league has addressed a growing trend of teams resting players due to the often grueling scheduling, so the season starts about 10 days earlier than in the past to help avoid situations where teams are playing four games in five nights or enter nationally televised games on the second night of a back-to-back.
In addition, the NBA also announced that the Minnesota Timberwolves will come to Los Angeles for Christmas night. Yes, the Lakers will play on Dec. 25, which has become something of a tradition. The Clippers have the late December holiday off.
The entire 2017-18 NBA season expects to be revealed in the coming days.