Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
In this edition, the topic is about the reeling Clippers trying to right themselves while playing the majority of their games on the road in November.
Before the Clippers played at Oklahoma City on Friday night, L.A. sported a 2-1 record away from home, not bad to be sure.
But the first road win was in the Lakers’ home game at Staples Center and the second victory at Portland was secured only after Blake Griffin made a game-winning three-pointer as time expired. They lost at San Antonio and the game wasn’t even close.
Seven of the Clippers’ next 10 games this month are on the road, and the quality of the opponents will be difficult. Two sets of the road games are back-to-back encounters.
Surely, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was queried, there have to be some benefits to playing on the road.
“I don’t know if there is a benefit or not,” Rivers said. “That’s an old coach’s argument that we always have. Would you rather play a lot of road games early in the year or later in the year? And that thing is probably split down the middle.”
His team was dealing with a three-game losing streak when Rivers spoke.
“I just want to play when we’re playing well,” he said. “I wish I can pick, like, ‘Can we go out now!’ That’s the whole key. If you go out on the road and you play them well, I don’t think it really matters where you play. If you go out on the road and you’re struggling, then the road can be very hard for you.”
The Clippers play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night and then are at New Orleans on a back-to-back game Saturday night.
The Clippers return home to play the talented and up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center on Monday night.
Then L.A. ventures out again, crisscrossing the country from the Midwest to the South to the East and back to the West, all in an attempt to stay afloat.
The Clippers will take their show to Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C.; New York; Atlanta and Sacramento.
None of these games are gimmes.
Then the Clippers will get a handful from Cleveland’s LeBron James, who is still widely considered the best player on the planet.
And when the Clippers land in New York, Kristaps Porzingis will be waiting to display his skillset.
So it will take a better defensive effort for the Clippers to earn a victory.
It will take trusting and sharing the basketball for the Clippers to have an opportunity at getting a win.
The road will test their resolve and show what kind of mettle the Clippers have.
In case you missed it
Clippers can’t figure out why they are struggling on defense.
Five takeaways from the loss to San Antonio.
Friday at Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. PT
Saturday at New Orleans, 4 p.m. PT
Monday vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. PT
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