It has been over four months since the NBA last staged basketball games, but that drought will come to an end Wednesday.
On July 22, the league will commence with its preseason games. Each team will start with a 40-minute contest in its first outing and then proceed with two full-length 48-minute affairs before the seeding games begin on July 30.
The mantra for the Clippers up until this point has been to “win the wait.” The mission now is for this team to coalesce back into the championship favorite it was before March 11 and rediscover what makes these Clippers special. The players and coaches don’t expect that to happen in the first exhibition against the Magic Wednesday, but Lou Williams made it clear Sunday that the finish line is nearing.
“I don’t think we have as much time as we think we do, so it’s time to start revving the engine up and getting going and getting the guys all on the same page,” Williams said. “I think for the first scrimmage on Wednesday we definitely should start working on that camaraderie that we’re going to need, making sure everybody is on the [same] page offensively, defensively, making sure we talk and just working through the basic things that we’re going to need to be successful throughout this process.”
Doc Rivers reiterated that rhythm and conditioning are his primary goals for the Clippers when they take the floor. The absences in their traveling party (Landry Shamet, Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and Ivica Zubac are all currently away from the team) have made it difficult to even approximate the intensity of a scrimmage in practice, so the Clippers will appreciate live game reps.
The NBA set up shop in Disney World to get a job done, to crown a 2020 champion. That’s the title that the Clippers are there for, and their quest is just about to get started.
More news for Monday:
- Zach Lowe and Kirk Goldsberry broke down where the Clippers were when the season hit pause. It will get you amped up.
- Lowe also went through 13 lineups to watch for in Orlando, including two Clippers picks.
- The Clippers may not be whole yet in the bubble, but they have been dealing with adversity all season.
- Doc Rivers spoke about his experiences with the late Rep. John Lewis.
- Dan Devine is among the many interested in what Joakim Noah’s return looks like.
- With the announcement that NBA awards will only be based on games that have already happened, Bleacher Report gave out its ballot. The Clippers factor into a couple of these, but I was surprised by the choices.
- The Wall Street Journal examined the disparity in wait times for coronavirus test results between athletes and the general public.
- Let’s end on a lighter note to start the week. If you’re a fan of Disney/NBA crossovers (and you know I am, considering this ode I wrote to Elastigirl), The Ringer has you covered.