The NBA announced all team schedules for the upcoming season Wednesday night. Clippers fans, start making your plans.
You can check out the Clippers’ full schedule here. For a sneak preview, here’s a look at 10 games that the diehards should mark on their calendars right now:
Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Oct. 30, TNT
It’s opening night, the first game of the post-Donald Sterling era. That should be enough reason to turn on the TV or head to Staples for what will double as the Clippers’ season and home opener. Getting to watch Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook should merely be icing on the cake.
@ Los Angeles Lakers, Oct. 31, ESPN
Sure, no one outside of Los Angeles cares all too much about this, but in the country’s second-largest media market, that means we’re getting a nationally televised game out of the event. The Lakers may not be what they once were, but I have a feeling Clippers fans are just fine with the standing of their cross-town rivals.
Vs. San Antonio Spurs, Nov. 10, NBATV
It’s time to stop picking against the “old” Spurs. Like, forever. They’re never going to age. It’s like fetch. It’s not going to happen. The defending champs are going to remain immensely fun to watch. No one moves the ball like them on the offensive end. No other team commands the amount of respect they deserve. If the Clippers can pull off an early-season upset in this one, let the narrative dogs out of their cages.
@ Memphis Grizzlies, Nov. 23, FOX Prime Ticket
This game is the only non-nationally televised one on this list. That’s uncommon for the Clippers, considering Steve Ballmer’s team has 28 games scheduled on national TV (and that number could grow as games are flexed onto NBATV during the season). It isn’t, however, out of the ordinary for Grit ‘n’ Grind, who remains the Clippers’ biggest rivals. With a healthy Marc Gasol, Memphis is going to be even better this year. We all know a playoff meeting between these two clubs is inevitable, right?
Vs. Golden State Warriors, Dec. 25, TNT
Christmas Day. Stephen Curry. Blake Griffin. Chris Paul. Klay Thompson. Steve Kerr getting exorbitant amounts of praise from his former TNT partners. All of these aspects will make for a great nightcap to Santa’s slate of games. Add in that the Warriors are rivalry 1B for LA (or 1A depending on how you feel about Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut) and chippiness potential shoots off the charts for this one.
Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Jan. 16, ESPN
Want to see LeBron James in person? How about Kevin Love? Well, come on out and see the new-and-improved Cleveland Cavaliers! By this time, the Cavs will probably be past their possible early-season woes and on that mid-season, 17-out-of-21 roll that’s guaranteed to have every pundit aggressively inquiring, “Has Cleveland finally put it all together???”
@ Dallas Mavericks, Feb. 9, NBATV
Let the toughest part of the Clippers’ schedule begin. The stretch actually begins a few days before the Clips head to play an immensely improved Dallas squad. Having to play Cleveland, Toronto, OKC, Dallas and Houston heading into the All-Star break is no easy task. Blake Griffin and the like will be happy to have that eight-day resting period.
Vs. Houston Rockets, Feb. 11, ESPN
Houston may not be as scary as they were last season after the losses of Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, but a James Harden-Dwight Howard combination still has major lasting power in the West. Sure, this offseason was a step back for the Rockets, but this is still a playoff team in the superior conference.
Vs. San Antonio Spurs, Feb. 19, TNT
The Clips have those rough five games heading into the break, and it doesn’t get much better after. After San Antonio, the Clippers get Sacramento, Memphis, Houston, Memphis again, Chicago, Minnesota, Portland and then…
@ Golden State Warriors, Mar. 8, ABC
And it doesn’t end with Curry’s Warriors. The Clips get a one-game break against Minnesota in a down year after heading to Oakland, and then have to play Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston. This is a brutal month-long slate for the Clippers. A strong start to the season would be immensely helpful—more so than usual—heading into February.
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