Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top 5 Most Anticipated Lakers Games of 2012

With a compressed season and redemption on their minds, the Lakers are certain to have a dynamic season ahead of them. Here are my top five most anticipated games of the season in chronological order.

1. Monday, January 16 vs. Dallas Mavericks (TNT)

The Lakers’ performance in last year’s semi-finals was simply embarrassing, especially because they were swept in the last game of the series. While winning this game may not be a harbinger for the 2012 title, revenge will certainly be sweet.

2. Thursday, January 19 vs. Miami Heat (TNT)

Last Christmas, the Heat blew away the Lakers on their home turf, followed closely by another close loss in Miami. All the comparisons between Kobe and LeBron might be toned down if the Lakers can take back the court, especially if this match-up comes back for the Finals.

3. Wednesday, January 25 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (NBA TV)

A few years ago, no one would have considered this to be a must-watch game. But with Chris Paul and other young players joining the ranks of the Clippers this season, some have speculated whether the team might be better than the Lakers. One thing for sure is that this will be a great night for Los Angeles basketball.

4. Thursday, February 9 vs. Boston Celtics (TNT)

Their infamous rivalry makes this match-up one of the most anticipated games in the NBA. Both teams feel that they have something to prove this season and have their eyes on the championship. This is bound to be an intense, non-stop game.

5. Thursday, February 23 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (TNT)

The Thunder are expected to pose the Lakers’ biggest threat in the Western Conference this season. If the Lakers want a chance at the championship, the Thunder is the team to beat, especially with so many young players who can withstand the demands of a compressed season.

This article was written by Nathan Henley. He is a sports psychologist who specializes in performance improvement and injury rehabilitation. He also owns the site Sports Psychology Degree for students interested in getting a degree in sports psychology.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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