Aside from the incessant drama between Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, there’s not a complete lot happening within the NBA during these dog days of August. That can all change when the 2022-23 schedule drops, reportedly a while next week, when fans will start calculating potential records and circling key dates on the calendar.
One such key date is Christmas Day, which at all times features the cream of the crop by way of marquee players and teams. While this yr’s slate continues to be a mystery for now, we have gotten a clue about at the least one holiday matchup. In the primary draft of the 2022-23 NBA schedule, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are set to face Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, in keeping with longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein, who added that things can still change before the schedule is officially released.
This matchup makes quite a lot of sense on condition that James, who shall be near his thirty eighth birthday by the point Christmas rolls around, has been the face of the NBA for nearly 20 years. The 23-year-old Doncic, given the incredible begin to his profession and his international appeal, is one in all the prime candidates to hold the torch for James if he someway becomes mortal and decides to retire any time soon.
Other than their superstar leaders, nevertheless, each the Lakers and Mavericks have major query marks heading into next season. The Lakers missed the playoffs in a nightmare 2021-22 regular season, and have not made an enormous splash within the free-agent or trade market this offseason — though the speculation that they are going to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Nets has grow to be more ubiquitous than that Matt Stafford business was throughout the playoffs.
The Mavericks are coming off Doncic’s first Western Conference finals appearance, but they lost a key cog within the machine when Jalen Brunson elected to sign with the Recent York Knicks last month. Dallas added talented big man Christian Wood, but time will tell whether Doncic may have enough backcourt help after Brunson’s departure.
James has a 6-2 advantage over Doncic in profession head-to-head matchups, in keeping with Land of Basketball. The 2 only faced off once last season, with James putting up 26 points and Doncic scoring 25 points because the Mavericks got here away with a 109-104 win in Los Angeles.
If the teams find yourself playing on Christmas, it would be a superb opportunity to look at two of essentially the most unique players in basketball. And who knows, it could possibly be one in all the last possibilities to see James in any respect as he enters the twilight of his all-time great profession.