The Los Angeles Clippers today announced their pre-season schedule. We've known about the game against the Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for some time, but now we know the full pre-season slate.
It begins against the Trail Blazers in Portland on October 7. For those of you counting the days, that's eight weeks, 56 days, from today. They don't play in Los Angeles until their fifth pre-season game, on October 18, also against the Blazers.
|10/7/2013||Portland Trail Blazers||Portland||Rose Garden||7:00 PM|
|10/12/2013||Utah Jazz||Utah||Energy Solutions Arena||6:00 PM|
|10/14/2013||Sacramento Kings||Sacramento||Sleep Train Arena||7:00 PM|
|10/15/2013||Phoenix Suns||Phoenix||US Airways Center||7:00 PM|
|10/18/2013||Portland Trail Blazers||Clippers||STAPLES Center||7:30 PM|
|10/19/2013||Denver Nuggets||Clippers||Mandalay Bay Events Center||7:30 PM|
|10/23/2013||Utah Jazz||Clippers||STAPLES Center||7:30 PM|
|10/25/2013||Sacramento Kings||Clippers||STAPLES Center||7:30 PM|
It's not the most challenging pre-season schedule, though of course pre-season isn't exactly about the challenge. The Clippers face the Blazers, Jazz and Kings twice each, with a game against the Suns and the Nuggets game in Vegas rounding out the schedule. Of those five opponents, four of them missed the playoffs last season. Furthermore, the Jazz and Suns are in full asset development/tank (depending on your perspective) mode this season and figure to be among the worst teams in the Western Conference. The only team that made the playoffs last season, the Nuggets, had a terrible off-season and could be a mess next season.
Pre-season is about playing together, getting accustomed to new offensive and defensive schemes against real competition, so it hardly matters that these aren't the best teams in the Conference. Of course, if the Clippers come out and go winless, it would raise concerns -- but that's not going to happen.