Clippers face a tough March as they bid for the playoffs

On so many levels, the month of March is daunting for the Clippers.

Ten of the 13 foes the Clippers face this month are formidable opponents who are in line to be playoff participants. Seven of them will host the Clippers in their buildings.


The march for the Clippers continues this week with a showdown against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at Staples Center.

"It's a hard week. We knew it was coming," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after his team lost a tough game to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. "Like, we knew this whole month is hard. March is a monster for us.

"But it's not like we didn't know it was coming. There's nothing you can do about it. We have what we have. It's a tough stretch to have guys out, for sure, there's no doubt about that. It makes your bench so thin. But, we just got to find a way to win a game anyway."

The Clippers will play what many consider a winnable game Saturday night against the Orlando Magic at home.

Then the Clippers take their show on the road next week.

They have another winnable game at Chicago on Tuesday before traveling to meet NBA-leading Houston and Oklahoma City in back-to-back games.

Upon returning home, the Clippers face the Portland Trail Blazers and then head back out on the road to meet the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.

All of those teams are expected to be in the playoffs.

The Clippers finish the month hosting Milwaukee and then going to Phoenix and Portland.

"It's one at a time," guard Lou Williams said. "We're still playing good basketball. It's not the end of the world that we lost tonight…There's still (19) games left. There's still a lot of basketball to be played. We've just got to move forward and play one game at a time."

Williams' free-throw woes

Williams shoots 88% from the free-throw line. Yet, there he was Tuesday night against the Pelicans unable to convert his free throws, missing six of 13 from the line.

The veteran took it in stride.

"Just missing free throws," Williams calmly said. "Can't have them all. You pay your taxes every once in a while. You just not sharp. Tonight was one of those nights for me. I wasn't sharp. You got to have a short memory span with those type of games."


Twitter: @BA_Turner