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The 10 must-watch games of the Lakers’ 2017-2018 regular season

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The hype is already real.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers journey through the 2017-2018 season has been set, the team opening what the franchise hopes to be an exciting new era on Oct. 19 against the LA Clippers.

The purple and gold are all over national television as usual, racking up 35 appearances beyond Spectrum SportsNet. Considering Lonzo Ball and the Lakers dominated Las Vegas Summer league television ratings, that might not be a bad idea for business.

Beyond the usual Christmas Day games and opening night, there’s going to be plenty of hyped up games this season. Here are the 10 must-watch Lakers games of the upcoming year.

D’Angelo Returns - 11/3 vs. Brooklyn Nets - Spectrum SportsNet

D’Angelo is only getting further in the rearview mirror, but his return to STAPLES Center is going to be an event. Watching Lonzo and Russell go head-to-head for the first time since the trade is must-watch, and Spectrum SportsNet gets to play host.

A fitting place for this game to go down.

Boston Sucks - 11/8 @ Boston Celtics - ESPN

The Lakers and Celtics may not be rivals for much more than historical sake right now, but that’s fine. The first look at how Hayward looks on Boston should be interesting, providing a big challenge and opportunity for Brandon Ingram.

Young Royalty - 11/15 vs. Philadelphia 76ers - ESPN

The Lakers and 76ers have a case for having the highest potential upside with their young cores, but both teams have a lot of proving to do this season and rookie point guards guiding them.

Markelle Fultz vs. Lonzo is going to be a fun matchup for years to come.

Duck This - 11/22 @ Sacramento Kings - ESPN

The first meeting of the season between the Lakers and Kings, which means we finally get Lonzo vs. De’Aaron Fox. Expect to have that matchup played up quite a bit all season, with three of their four games being broadcast on national television.

Court of the Crimson King - 12/14 @ Cleveland Cavaliers - TNT

Lonzo and the Lakers roll into Cleveland for the final game of a four-game road trip, stopping by to say hello to LeBron James. Who knows whether Kyrie Irving will still be in Cavaliers uniform, it really doesn’t matter. The LeBron-Lakers chatter is going to be chaotic in the days surrounding this one.

Prepare accordingly.

2017 NBA Finals - Game Two Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Boston Sucks II - 1/23 vs. Celtics - TNT

If Las Vegas was any indication, Lakers fans are going to be on fire when Boston’s in the building. Round 2 of the rivalry is back home in Los Angeles, giving Lonzo, Ingram and the squad a chance to send the Celtics packing while they defend home court.

Homecoming - 2/8 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - TNT

Speaking of home court, welcome back to Southern California Russell Westbrook and Paul George! Please, enjoy the nice February weather and Hollywood glitz and glamour as you pass through. Here’s a look at our young core heading into the trade deadline, just keep that in mind heading into free agency next summer fellas.

This could be us.

The Red Carpet Treatment - 3/11 vs. Cavaliers - ESPN

When LeBron James descends upon Los Angeles with only a month left in the regular season, there’s no telling what we may be witnesses to. The Cavaliers and Lakers will have a better idea about which way things are headed, and the city of Los Angeles gets one chance to embrace LeBron ahead of a huge summer.

Oh boy.

Fear the Beard - 4/10 vs. Houston Rockets - TNT

The second-to-last game of the season is a big one for the Lakers. They’ll line up against Chris Paul and James Harden — if they aren’t resting for the playoffs — which is a huge test. It’s a great way to measure up the youth at the end of the year, but you never know what these late-season rosters will look like...

Report Card - 4/11 @ Clippers - Spectrum SportsNet

The Lakers end where they began, taking on the Clippers for their last game of the season. 81 games is a long, grueling process, and the team should be better than they were when they met back on Oct. 19.

This is a great chance to get a progress report before hitting the summer... or playoffs.