Friday afternoon, the NBA officially released the schedule for the 2018-19 regular season. The basics are that between mid-October and mid-April, each of the 30 NBA teams will play 82 games, 41 at home and 41 on the road. Teams play divisional opponents 4 times, conference opponents either 4 or 3 times, and opponents from the other conference twice.
The Clippers have four match-ups this season against Pacific Division opponents Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors. Among other Western Conference teams, they have four games against Portland, Denver, San Antonio, Dallas, Memphis, and Oklahoma City, and 3 games against Minnesota, Utah, Houston, and New Orleans. The Clippers will host the Rockets and Jazz twice each, but visit Houston and Utah only once each, while the opposite will be true for the Timberwolves and Pelicans, with the Clippers making two trips each to Minnesota and New Orleans while hosting each team only once. The teams from your conference who you only play 3 times are one of the few ways in which the NBA strength of schedule can vary from team to team, and the Clippers seem to have caught a break this season, as they’ll avoid additional match-ups against some of the West’s top teams and players while not losing any chances to play the weaker teams in the conference.
The Clippers will appear on TNT three times, November 15th against the Spurs, November 29th against the Kings, and December 20th against the Mavericks. We don’t yet have full details regarding ESPN and NBATV appearances, though some rumored appearances on those networks have leaked out over the past week.
- Home Opener: Wednesday, October 17th vs Denver (7:30 PM)
- Chris Paul returns: Sunday, October 21 vs Houston (6:00 PM)
- Warriors Games: Monday, November 12th (Home-7:30 PM), Sunday, December 23rd (Away-6:00 PM), Friday, January 18th (Home-7:30 PM), Sunday, April 7th (Away-5:30 PM)
- DeAndre Jordan returns: Thursday, December 20th vs Dallas (7:30 PM, TNT)
- Blake Griffin returns: Saturady, January 12th vs Detroit (12:30 PM)
The Clippers’ longest road trip is a 6-game stretch from February 2nd through 11th, where they will visit Detroit, Toronto, Charlotte, Indiana, Boston, and Minnesota. The team also has three four-game road trips in November/December, January, and March.
At first count (I always botch this part) the Clippers play 14 back-to-backs. We’ll look more in depth at these contests next week.