The Los Angeles Clippers conclude their string of three games in four nights in Phoenix against the Suns. The good news is that after resting Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan last night, Doc Rivers will no doubt play all three of them tonight. And if you don't think that's good news, then you didn't watch the game against the Kings. Somehow, it's just not as much fun watching Byron Mullens and Lou Amundson as the starting front court.
The Suns are undefeated in pre-season, for what that's worth, which is not very much. Still, they seem to be playing well for new coach Jeff Hornacek so maybe they'll put up some resistance against the Clippers first teamers.
The big draw in this game for the citizens of Clips Nation is of course to see our old pal, Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe was traded to Phoenix in the off-season, along with Caron Butler, as part of the deal that brought J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley to the Clippers (Butler has since moved on to Milwaukee). I don't think the Suns know exactly what they're going to do in the backcourt yet -- Bledsoe and Goran Dragic both play point guard, and are arguably the team's two best players -- but they'll give Bledsoe every chance to become a star.
After sitting out against DeMarcus Cousins last night, DeAndre Jordan could go up against Marcin Gortat and/or Alex Len tonight. It wasn't very long ago that Gortat was considered one of the most promising young centers in the league, but he had a tough season last year (as bigs often do once they no longer have Steve Nash spoonfeeding them easy buckets). Len was the fifth player chosen in June's draft.
Make no mistake though -- it's going to be a LONG season in Phoenix, where they are in rebuild/asset acquisition mode. There are some decent pieces, including the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus, but most of the time they're not going to have the talent to compete, and that should certainly be true tonight assuming the Clippers play their first string.
After tonight's game in Phoenix, the Clippers will finally play a home pre-season game on Friday. In fact, of their final four pre-season games, three are at STAPLES Center and the fourth is on a neutral court in Las Vegas this Saturday against the Nuggets. And if you're counting the days, it's now 14 until the first game of the season. If you're counting the hours, it's about 339. If you're counting the minutes, it's 20,340.