The NBA is getting closer.
For Los Angeles Clippers fans, it’s an odd feeling. For one, it’s a period of anticipation. With all the new acquisitions and the winning culture, Clippers Nation is at a peak it never reached. And lastly, it’s the “other” Los Angeles team that gathered most of the hype this offseason.
The schedule is released and there are definitely some games to watch.
November 4, Houston Rockets
The new look Rockets take on the Clippers in Los Angeles. The experiment in Houston worked with James Harden last season, but what will it look like with Dwight Howard? This may be a clash of two of the up-and-coming title contenders in the Western Conference. An early preview of how this matchup will look like and perhaps both teams will meet in the first or last round of the Western Conference playoffs.
December 12, at Brooklyn Nets
Come on. Doc Rivers reunited with the players that made Rivers such a respected players (I’m speaking of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and to a degree, Jason Terry). There will also be a basketball game. It’s a star-studded matchup of two all-star lineups. The spanking new Nets with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett, and Brook Lopez against the Western Conference new “biggest” threat (about time we gave that title to a new team, sorry Memphis) in the Clippers. Fireworks.
December 25, at Golden State Warriors
Two of the youngest teams. Two of the most explosive teams. And two of the most exciting teams. Both squads had great showings in the playoffs, more on the Dubs’ side, and should provide for a Christmas matchup highlight for the season. Just imagine: Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul, David Lee vs. Blake Griffin, and Klay Thompson vs. J.J. Redick. It’s matchup on matchup for two championship aspiring teams.
February 5, Miami Heat
The LeBron James‘ Heat have yet to beat the Clippers at Staples Center (knock on wood). The defending champions vs. the future champs? It’s a “key game” whenever the Heat are in town, it is just magnetized because it’s in Los Angeles. The bill alone is worth the price of admission. It’s a miniature All-Star Game in the bright lights of Staples and a proving game for the Clippers to see if they belong on the map.
February 23, at Oklahoma City Thunder
It isn’t because of JUST the Thunder game; that, is definitely a challenge in itself. This is a mark on the calendar because it is the last of three games after the All-Star break where the Clippers play San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center, at Memphis for the Grizzlies, and then at Oklahoma City for the Thunder. It’s a three-game swing of Western Conference killers that should give fans the real pulse of where the Clippers fit in — and right after a break, too.
Phew. Well, the Clippers have plenty to look forward to. The schedule may not foresee another 17-game win streak like last season, but this is a better Clippers team on paper as well. Special considerations to games against Chicago, Indiana, and New York, but these are the five marks on my Clippers’ calendar.
Photo Credit: Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
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