The National Basketball Association interrupted the Olympics Thursday to release the schedule for the 2016-2017 season!
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 11, 2016
The Los Angeles Clippers begin the season on the road at Portland against the Trail Blazers on Thursday, October 27; it will be the only time this season that the Clippers visit Portland. The Clippers went 3-1 against the Trail Blazers during the regular season, but the Trail Blazers ended the Clippers season in the 1st round of the 2015-2016 Western Conference Playoffs.
This will be the second time in three years that the Clippers open the season against the team that eliminated them in the previous postseason; they avenged their 2013-2014 Western Conference Semifinals series loss vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 93-90 home win to open the 2014-2015 season. Ten years ago, the Clippers opened the 2006-2007 season at Phoenix after the Suns beat the Clippers in the 2005-2006 Western Conference Semifinals; the Suns beat the Clippers 112-104 in the 2006-2007 season opener. That was also the last time the Clippers had a season opener outside of the state of California.
The Clippers won’t have a back-to-back to start the season for the first time since 2013-2014. The home opener will be against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, October 30 at 1:30pm PT. The next night, Halloween, the Clippers will host the Suns at 7:30pm PT.
Four games in-five nights & back-to-back games reduced to all-time lows for 2nd straight season pic.twitter.com/eDvAXEVWCj
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) August 11, 2016
The NBA keeps cutting down on back-to-backs, which is nice. But the effort rings mostly hollow for the Clippers. They had a league-leading 20 back-to-backs in 2015-2016, and they lead the league again with 18 back-to-backs in 2016-2017. The Clippers will play seven games in an 11-day stretch from March 20-30.
But the Clippers have an interesting schedule against the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, who swept the Clippers last season for the first time since 1986-1987. The Clippers first meeting with the Warriors will be on Wednesday, December 7 at STAPLES Center with two days off. The Clippers will visit Oracle Arena for the first time in the 2016-2017 season on Saturday, January 28, after three days off. The Clippers will host the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back Thursday, February 2, but their first game after the All-Star break will be at Golden State on Thursday, February 23. That last meeting will come with seven days off.
The Clippers will visit the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, December 1, and the Cavaliers will visit the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 18.
Last year, the Clippers didn’t have a road trip of more than five games. They will have a six-game road trip this season to go with two five-game road trips. All of them will be before the All-Star break, and the two five-game trips are separated only by that back-to-back home game against the Warriors:
- November 23-December 2 (Dallas, Detroit, Indiana, Brooklyn, Cleveland, New Orleans)
- January 21-February 1 (Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Golden State, Phoenix)
- February 5-13 (Boston, Toronto, New York, Charlotte, Utah)
Before the Clippers go on the road in late January, they get a season-long five-game homestand from January 8-19 (Heat, Magic, Lakers, Thunder, Timberwolves). The game against the Thunder will be on MLK Day, Monday, January 16.
Christmas Day marks the second year in a row that the Clippers will face the Lakers for the first meeting of the season. You may remember, the Clippers and Blake Griffin were never the same after Christmas last season. Speaking of Griffin, the Clippers will be back at Toronto on Monday, February 6 to take on the Raptors. There will be questions about other things that happened in Canada last year.
In the case that Paul Pierce comes back, and if 2016-2017 is his last NBA season, then both of the Boston Celtics games are nationally televised. The Clippers will be in Boston on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th, on ABC. On Monday, March 6, the Clippers will host the Celtics on TNT.
The final road game of the season for the Clippers will be at San Antonio on Saturday, April 8. The Clippers will end the season at home on the final day of the regular season against the Kings on Wednesday, April 12. It will be the first time since 2010-2011 that the Clippers will play their final game of the season at home and not on the second night of a back-to-back. Yes, the Clippers have ended the last five seasons with a road game after playing the night before.
The Clippers are scheduled to play a franchise-record 34 nationally televised games: five on ABC, 10 on TNT, 10 on ESPN, and nine on NBA TV.
The four teams that the Clippers play only three times in 2016-2017 are the Trail Blazers, Rockets, Pelicans and Timberwolves. The Clippers will be done with the Trail Blazers on Monday, December 12. The first meeting with the Rockets will be on Friday, December 30, the only Clippers game at Houston. The only time the Pelicans visit the Clippers will be Saturday, December 10. And former Clippers C Cole Aldrich will visit his former team in Los Angeles only once, on Thursday, January 19 when the Timberwolves come to STAPLES Center.
The preseason schedule is out as well, and the Clippers will be staying in the Pacific Time Zone for all but one game. The Clippers begin the preseason on October 4 at Golden State. The Raptors, Jazz, and Trail Blazers will all visit the Clippers at STAPLES Center on October 5, 10, and 13, respectively. The Clippers will visit the Jazz in Utah on October 17 before concluding the preseason in Sacramento on October 18, nine days before the regular season opener in Portland.
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