The NBA schedule is out for the 2013-14 season, which means the Los Angeles Clippers‘ run for an NBA title is only two months away. It will not be easy, as the Clippers will face nine teams with a record better than .500 last season early on in their schedule.
The good news is that the team has upgraded themselves for these challenges during the offseason. They traded for one of the best coaches in Doc Rivers. They have re-signed their All-Star leader Chris Paul, and they have improved their outside shooting and perimeter defense with the additions of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. It will also be interesting to see how Rivers utilizes Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan, the two legit big men who really need to step it up on the defensive end for the Clippers.
Last season, the Clippers had faced good rivalries with the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors. The biggest game of the regular season that should be on every Clippers fans’ radar has to be the Christmas Day matchup against the Warriors, which also happens to be a road game. The Warriors took three of four games from the Clippers last season. So, the Clippers have something to prove. The Warriors did a good job shooting threes and running for easy baskets. This time, they have signed Andre Iguodala to improve their perimeter defense and transition game. Fortunately, the Clippers’ new additions will help them counter the small ball approach that the Warriors used so well. The Clippers can play in the half court or up tempo, and as long as they dictate the pace, the game should be in their favor.
The biggest matchup with the Warriors will be between the guards of Paul and Stephen Curry. Curry is one of the best shooters in the league, and the Warriors do a good job setting screens to get him open. The Clippers will have to provide help whenever Paul gets screened.
All in all, this will be a game of the ages. For years, the Warriors and Clippers were perennial losing franchises, but last year was different. People wanted to see these two play because they play exciting basketball. And they will get to see it on a huge stage on Christmas Day.