Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Four games on the schedule, beginning with the Lakers in the early morning tip off in Toronto, so if you'd rather watch NBA than NFL, then you can hang out here.
The Lakers travel Toronto for the early Sunday game against the Raptors. The big game from a Clippers standpoint is the last game, with Oklahoma City visiting Denver to play the Nuggets. The Thunder are entering a brutal stretch of their schedule, probably their toughest 10 days of the season, playing at Denver, at the Clippers, at the Warriors, at the Lakers and home against the Grizzlies between now and the end of the month.
LA Lakers at Toronto, 10:00 AM, TWCS
Dallas at Orlando, 3:00 PM
Boston at Detroit, 4:30 PM
Oklahoma City at Denver, 5:00 PM
The Lakers and Raptors are about to tip off, Toronto being about the only East team that regularly plays day games. The Clippers have a lot of 12:30 Sunday tip offs, but Toronto is the East coast team that is famous for them. There are a few reasons for these scheduling quirks. Most teams don't play day games unless it's on national TV because the crowds are less enthusiastic and sometimes smaller, but day games are certainly more family friendly, so if you're trying to appeal to families with children, then they make sense. In the Clippers case, they're sharing a building with two other teams and they get third choice on dates and times, so they wind up in some less desirable slots. The Raptors would also have that problem no doubt picking after the Maple Leafs. It's also worth noting that unlike most NBA towns, neither Los Angeles nor Toronto has NFL football to contend with (and in Toronto the NFL isn't even getting as much general attention). But I've heard another reason stated for the large number of early games in Toronto: the Canadian Ballet. The famously racy strip clubs in Canada, facetiously nicknamed the Canadian Ballet, are rumored to be very popular among NBA players. With only one or two trips to Toronto on a team's schedule each year, the Raptors know that their opponent's will be spending some time at the Canadian Ballet upon arrival in town, and they feel they will have an advantage with an early tip off. Bear in mind, for a team like the Lakers coming from the West Coast, they are tipping off at 10 AM pacific. It's probably apocryphal, but it's an interesting theory.
As for the Thunder and the Nuggets, OKC spanked Denver by 20 in a game that was never close just four days ago in Oklahoma. We'll see what Denver has in them to see if they can respond to that loss. The Clippers found out how could Denver can be a few weeks ago. The Clippers would love for them to do that to the Thunder tonight.