The LA Clippers have a great schedule to get ready for the playoffs. It will be tough to stay mentally focused for the Orlando bubble.
By now we would generally have had an NBA champion and begun free agency but COVID-19 has been a damper on all of our plans. We will finally get NBA basketball late this month and an NBA champion will not be crowned until the fall. Things have been unconventional for the whole NBA especially teams like the LA Clippers who are contenders but these are the circumstances that we have now.
The NBA released the eight-game seeding schedule for all the teams contending in the Orlando bubble. The Clippers will have to play the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
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That schedule will tell where this team will be going into the playoffs. The play will be sloppy due to the long layoff but there will be some tough tests for this team to gauge how successful they will be in the playoffs.
The Lakers game to open bubble play will be crucial. That game gives the competition an opening day feel. There will be training camp and some scrimmage games leading up to the seeding games but the Lakers game will be a warm-up before a potential matchup in the playoffs.
Everybody will be watching to see how the Clippers compete with the Lakers. Both teams are basically risking their lives and well being for the chance at a championship and this game will tell if what they are sacrificing is worth it. The Clippers won the first two matchups but the Lakers were the team to come out on top the last time these two teams met.
There is also the Denver Nuggets matchup that will also be interesting to watch because they are another playoff team. That game is closer to the end of seeding play and will be a good test to see where this team is at going into the playoffs.
The Nuggets could be a second-round matchup so that game is also important. There are also interesting games against lower-ranked teams like the Pelicans, Mavericks, Trail Blazers and the OKC Thunder that will be interesting to watch.
Anytime time you face Zion Williamson that is an interesting game. The Dallas Mavericks could be a potential first-round matchup. On a neutral floor, Luka Doncic will give them fits. The Trail Blazers are always a team to watch because with Damian Lillard they can get hot at any time. That game will be a good test for the Clippers defense in terms of trying to contain Lillard.
The OKC Thunder matchup is another great matchup because they are a scrappy team. They will be ready to play even though it is the last game in seeding play. The Thunder are a tough team like the Clippers. For a team with championship aspirations facing OKC will challenge them and it could pay dividends in getting ready for the playoffs.
Combined the teams that the Clippers face have a 285-233 record. That is a great schedule in terms of difficulty because it will not be too hard and it won’t be too easy. While moving up in the standings is most likely an afterthought the Clippers can still move down in the standings as they are a game an a half ahead of the Nuggets.
LA faces a lot of teams that could be potential playoff matchups like the Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets and Thunder. When it comes time for the postseason they should be ready for the playoffs. When you look at it the Clippers are favorites in every game except the Lakers game. They should win the Lakers game because of their defense. The only games they most likely will lose are the games against the Mavericks and Nuggets.
Doncic will cause problems because of his scoring ability and the Nuggets game is just a game the Clippers may fall asleep in. Going 6-2 will get them ready for a long playoff run.