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NBA Rumors: LeBron James, Lakers vs. Luka Doncic, Mavs Expected on Christmas Day

Erin WalshAugust 13, 2022

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

At least one NBA Christmas Day matchup for the 2022-23 season is coming into view.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to meet Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 25 at American Airlines Center, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

"Changes are still possible before the full schedule officially drops next week but Christmas games usually hold," Stein wrote.

The Lakers and Mavericks previously played on Christmas Day in December 2020 in Los Angeles. The Purple and Gold went on to win 138-115, led by a 28-point performance from Anthony Davis.

The Lakers boasted a starting lineup that included Davis, James, Marc Gasol, Dennis Schröder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell were among the players to come in off the bench.

As for the Mavs, Doncic led the team with 27 points. The team's starting lineup featured Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell and Josh Richardson.

Both the Mavericks and Lakers are very different teams entering the 2022-23 season, and some believe the Purple and Gold don't have what it takes to make the playoffs this year as currently structured.

The Lakers finished 11th in the Western Conference last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The team struggled with injuries to Davis and James, and Russell Westbrook also didn't live up to the hype in his first season with the franchise.

Entering the 2022-23 season, the Lakers haven't been able to make any significant changes to their roster due to limited salary-cap space with the hefty contracts of James, Davis and Westbrook.

That said, they could be in for a similarly disappointing year.

As for the Mavericks, they finished fourth in the Western Conference last season and made it all the way to the conference finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors.

And while they lost Jalen Brunson in free agency to the New York Knicks, they added Christian Wood and JaVale McGee this summer, revamping the roster for another run to the finals.

So while there's certainly intrigue with a potential James-Doncic Christmas Day rematch, it could be a less interesting matchup if the Lakers don't end up showing much improvement from the 2021-22 season.

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