The NBA schedule release is always big news, as it usually brings national changes as well as individual schedules and TV times. This year, the NBA is making a bid to make games start earlier, with West Coast games now tipping off more frequently at 7 PM, rather than 7:30. This is good for East Coasters who want to watch (or write about) games played out West, but is less good for people (like Clippers’ fans) who want to attend games after work, and now might have to rush out or leave early to get there on time. However, 26 of the 41 home games will be played at the usual 7:30 start time, so for those who might struggle to make an earlier start time, there will be plenty of games to choose from.
Sources: Earlier times for national TV doubleheaders this season: 22 of ESPN’s 36 doubleheaders and 12 of TNT’s 31 doubleheaders to start at 7:30/10 PM ET or 7/9:30 PM ET instead of 8/10:30 PM.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 12, 2019
The Clippers themselves, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on board, are getting more national attention than ever before. They have landed an incredible 26 nationally televised games, a franchise high, with 11 on TNT, 11 on ESPN, and 4 on ABC. That speaks to how relevant they are in the national sports conversation right now, and the kind of attention they will get throughout this season.
In far better news for the team itself, the Clippers play seven of their first 10 games at home. This means that even if Paul George misses some time to start the season, the Clippers should be able to hold their ground in the tough Western Conference. While these games are fairly challenging ones, hopefully home court advantage proves its worth early on. In other good news, the Clippers play 13 back to backs, which is a bit higher than the NBA average this year (12.4), but lower than in previous years.
The Clippers' first 10 games of the season:— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) August 12, 2019
Finally, as always, a key ingredient to the schedule is which teams in-conference are played three times instead of four. Here, the Clippers got a mixed bag: they will play the Nuggets, Blazers, Grizzlies, and Mavericks three times. The Nuggets figure to be a top team in the conference, while the Blazers are a likely bet for a lower playoff seed, and the Mavs should be competent enough. However, the Grizzlies will be one of the worst teams in the NBA, so it’s unfortunate the Clippers miss out on another easy win against them.
The Clippers play on Christmas at 5:00 PT in a marquee matchup against the Lakers. Other games of note include Kawhi Leonard’s return to Toronto (Dec 11) and Paul George’s return to OKC (Dec 22). Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will make their returns to Los Angeles on November 18th, which should be a very fun game and atmosphere at Staples. Tobias Harris’ return as a member of the Sixers will have to wait until March 1, but it will be a Sunday morning game on ABC, against what will surely be a powerhouse Philly squad. Finally, fan favorite Boban Marjanovic will make his long-awaited appearance at Staples on March 16, and will presumably get a standing ovation, as he did so many times as a member of the Clippers.
Our own Lucas Hann has provided a full schedule of both the entire schedule, as well as the back to backs, seen below. Are you ready for the season to start yet?