NBA basketball is back! And the first game that counts coming out of the coronavirus shutdown is a big one, as the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will square off Thursday evening ... in Orlando, of course, in the NBA bubble.
OK, it’s both a big game and a “big” game, in that it’s a game that counts, and it’s another tune-up against the Lakers ahead of an anticipated playoff series eventually, but also these teams’ seeds are probably sewn up already and it’s the first game back. Add to that the absences and/or restricted playing time on both sides but particularly the Clippers, and this might be a bit weird. Either way, we’ll be watching!
Where: Orlando, Florida
When: Thursday, 6 p.m. PT
How to watch: TNT, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports Go and FoxSportsGo.com in Los Angeles viewing region
Clippers: Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams - OUT; Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet - QUESTIONABLE; Ivica Zubac - PROBABLE
Lakers: Anthony Davis - QUESTIONABLE; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma - PROBABLE
To gear up, here’s more news for this Thursday morning:
- Like a new season for Kawhi: Kawhi Leonard talked to reporters Wednesday, and said it feels like a new season, which makes sense considering they had an offseason’s worth of time off during the shutdown.
- Doc aims to go slow with Shamet: Landry Shamet is present and practicing, but after recovering from coronavirus, the Clippers guard will not get thrown into the deep end right away, according to Doc Rivers. If Shamet does play against the Lakers, expect it to be on limited minutes.
- Williams on quarantine: If you missed it and are trying to catch up, Lou Williams went to a gentleman’s club while on an excused absence and is now in the middle of a 10-day quarantine, meaning he’ll definitely miss the game.
- In case you missed it... And if you really need a refresher before tonight, Sabreena has a handy list of nine things you need to know about the Clippers season before the shutdown.
- No positive player tests in bubble: Good news — the NBA announced there have been no positive coronavirus tests inside the bubble dating back to July 20.
Zero players have tested positive for the coronavirus since July 20, the NBA announces with the NBPA. 344 players have been being tested regularly.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 29, 2020
- LA sports restart survey: The Athletic has been doing a bunch of reader surveys, and in this one, they reveal the results of Los Angeles fans and the return of sports.