The LA Clippers will finally play NBA basketball on Wednesday more than four months after the league was suspended following Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test. The league continues to deal with the virus, but no one in the bubble has it right now, so basketball can resume — at least some form of it.
L.A. and Orlando will face off in a scrimmage, but one that will lack many of the trappings of a normal NBA game. First of all, the quarters are 10 minutes long instead of the usual 12. Secondly, the coaches talked ahead of time about what they were hoping to achieve during the exhibition, so this isn’t so much a competition as a cooperative exercise to get players up to speed.
Where: The Arena, Orlando, Florida
When: 12 p.m. PT
How to watch: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, NBA TV
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, Ivica Zubac — OUT
Magic: Al-Farouq Aminu, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac — OUT
Lastly, though this is perhaps reminiscent of early regular-season games in 2019-20, the Clippers roster will be a shell of itself.
Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, and Landry Shamet have all been ruled out of today’s scrimmage. The former two left the bubble for personal reasons, and it is unclear of the latter two have even arrived in Orlando. Doc Rivers also intimated that other players may sit out today, and he name-dropped Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in that discussion. The dream of seeing the Clippers team that waxed the floor with Golden State in its last outing lives on a little longer.
The Clippers will get their first glimpse of Joakim Noah in game action. If I had to guess, the starting lineup will be Reggie Jackson, Leonard/George, Rodney McGruder, Patrick Patterson, and Noah, but feel free to let me know how off base I was when the game tips off.
Because of who is missing and the general atmosphere of preseason, even in normal seasons, this game is more notable for the stage than for the actual contest. This is our first glimpse of the ESPN Wide World of Sports and the new-look broadcast that the NBA is testing out for the remainder of the year. Every aspect of this production, including the Clippers, is a work in progress and should be treated as such.
Nevertheless, it will be exciting to see the Clippers, however many of them are left, play live basketball. It’s amazing that we got to this point. Let’s celebrate it.
Enjoy the game, and comment below!