The LA Clippers suffered a difficult ending to their 2019-20 season, fumbling away a second-round playoff series to the Denver Nuggets and watching the Los Angeles Lakers take home the NBA title a little over a month later.
The league is giving them their shot at revenge right from the get-go.
The Clippers and Lakers are set to meet on the opening night of the 2020-21 season — Dec. 22 — according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
It'll be LA's third meeting with the Lakers in 11 days, as both teams are scheduled to meet twice during the preseason as well. But as the lone meaningful game of the slate, the opening night contest will be our best look yet at this year's version of each squad.
Both the Clippers and Lakers made significant improvements this offseason. Most notably, the Lakers signed Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell, while the Clippers added Luke Kennard and Serge Ibaka.
And while the Harrell revenge storyline will certainly be a focus of the matchup, most of the attention will be on the star duos of LeBron James and Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
George was absent from LA's rotation when the two teams met on opening night of the 2019-20 season, a game the Clippers won 112-102. James and Davis combined for 43 points, while Leonard poured in 30 of his own.
The Lakers won two out of their next three meetings with the Clippers in the regular season, but the two never met in the postseason.
After battling it out with the Lakers, the Clippers are scheduled to face-off with the Nuggets on Christmas Day.
LA held a 3-1 lead over Denver in the second round, but top-tier performances from Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic and some head-scratching decisions made by Doc Rivers pushed the series in the Nuggets' favor.
With a revamped coaching staff on the sidelines and a more versatile backup big in Ibaka, the Clippers will get a chance to avenge their loss from this past season and exorcise some of the demons that have haunted them over the last several months.
The rest of the Clippers' schedule is due out in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.