Five Games to Look Forward to on the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers Schedule: Fan’s View

Yahoo Contributor Network

On Thursday, July 26, the NBA released its 2012-2013 regular season schedule. Here's a look at five games on the Los Angeles Lakers' slate that fans should find interesting:

Friday, November 2 - Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

This matchup used to be one of the most one-sided rivalries in all of sports. Now Lakers-Clippers games are becoming a premier TV event. All three games between the two teams will be televised nationally in 2012-2013, the first of which will take place on Friday, November 2. The winner of this game has an opportunity to set the tone in Los Angeles and the Pacific Division. Look for some fireworks as former Phoenix Suns teammates Steve Nash and Grant Hill face off for the first time since they both moved to the City of Angels.

Friday, December 7 - Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder

On December 7, the Lakers will meet the Thunder for the first time since Oklahoma City eliminated Los Angeles during last year's playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the new-look Lakers match up to the defending Western Conference champions. Has Los Angeles narrowed the gap? Can they keep up with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? I can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, December 11 - Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers

It might seem a little odd to put a Lakers-Cavs game on this list, but after last season's shortened schedule, this is a chance for Los Angeles fans to see if the rebuilding effort in Cleveland is working. Second-year point guard Kyrie Irving is of particular interest here. Can he take that next step in his career and become an elite NBA guard? How will he perform against Nash? These are just some of the intriguing questions surrounding this game. Oh, and don't forget about former Cavalier Antawn Jamison making his return to Cleveland.

Thursday, January 17 - Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers

I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but this one's a no-brainer. The Lakers get their first shot at the defending NBA champions Heat in a game that could decide whether or not they are true title contenders.

Wednesday, January 30 - Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns

I can't believe that we have to wait until the end of January before we get to see Steve Nash take on his former team on the road. I can't wait to see the crowd in Phoenix give Nash a standing ovation for everything that he did for the Suns in what's sure to be an emotional game for the future Hall of Famer.

What Lakers games are you looking forward to this season? Let us know in the comments!

Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. His favorite Lakers' moment is when they beat the Detroit Pistons 108-105 in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala or on Facebook.

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