5 games not to miss this season – Daily bulletin

The Clippers are here to prove that, even without Kawhi Leonard, they are still formidable enough to capitalize on last season’s historic Western Conference final. And for the first time in two seasons, they’ll have a full 82-game schedule to try and do so. Here’s a look at five must-see matches:

NOV. 3 (and 5 November) VS. DALLAS NON-CONFORMERS

Whether it’s Luka Doncic mixing it up with Marcus Morris Sr., Terance Mann or drawing Ivica Zubac into position to shoot the Clippers big man, the Mavs superstar and his squad always give the Clippers all they can handle, including included pushing them to the first round of the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Last season’s streak was particularly wild, with each team winning three times on the road before the Clippers finally won Game 7 at home.

Player to watch: Kristaps Porzingis, maybe. The 7-foot-3 qualifying forward said new coach Jason Kidd had put in place a system that was better suited to his game and that this season the Mavs were “unlocking” his full potential. He shot 58.3% from the ground during the preseason.

DEC. 3 TO LAKERS

Bragging rights are on the line again when this season’s Hallway series opens – the days of which are numbered, with the Clippers considering the 2024 opening of their own Intuit Dome in Inglewood. They won all three intra-city clashes last season and are 21-6 against the Lakers since Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers in May 2014. 3.)

Player to watch: LeBron James, of course.

DEC. 18 VS. PHOENIX SUNS

Although hampered and exhausted, the Clippers fought six games against the Suns before succumbing to the Western Conference Finals last season. This contest against Landry Shamet + run-it-back Suns could serve as a telling barometer of how this season’s Clippers stack up against their brave playoff selves from a season ago.

Player to watch: Shamet, a 2019 Clippers playoff hero, plays for his fourth team in four NBA seasons as he continues his personal tour of the NBA constellation of stars. After teaming up with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler in Philadelphia; Leonard and Paul George in LA; and Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin in Brooklyn, Shamet joined Chris Paul and Devin Booker in a Suns team that reached the NBA Finals last season.

JAN. 21 IN PHILADELPHIA 76ers

There was so much drama in Philly to start the season, centered on the since mellow commercial demand of Ben Simmons and the late arrival that followed. Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers has had to continually deal with the situation he helped create with his comments after Philadelphia lost to the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, 103-96, in of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, when, in response to a question about whether he thought Simmons could be a championship playmaker, Rivers replied, “I don’t know the answer to that.” The question now: Will Simmons still wear a Sixers jersey when they host the Clippers?

Player to watch: Joël Embiid. In six career meetings with the Clippers, the elite center has averaged 32 points per game – more than against any other team in the league.

FEB. 6 VS. MILWAUKEE BUCKS

The reigning NBA champions head to Staples Center for the first of two games against Tyronn Lue’s Clippers. Milwaukee survived an injury-exhausted field to win the second championship in franchise history last season – 30 years after winning its first. The Clippers are chipping away at No.1 in their 52nd year.

Player to watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league’s two-time MVP and now NBA champion is a force of nature – and, at just 26, he continues to improve. In two games against the Clippers last season, he averaged 34 points and 10 rebounds.

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