His competitive juices won’t start really flowing until Oct. 27, when the Clippers open the regular season against the Trail Blazers in Portland.
For now, during the exhibition season the Clippers start Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors, Coach Doc Rivers will press onward and push his team to continue making strides.
This is the time to prepare for the regular season, Rivers said before the Clippers’ shoot-around Tuesday, and to see what works and what doesn’t work.
“I don’t look forward to it. I look forward to the first regular-season game,” Rivers said. “But you still need the preseason games. I think it tells you where your team is at in some ways. Not how the score goes or anything, but just as far visually you can see what your team needs to work on, what they have.
“There may be things tonight that they’re doing better than I thought. There may be things that I thought they did well and they don’t do well. I think from a coaching standpoint, that’s why you like the preseason games.”
The Clippers will play only six exhibition games, with the second coming right on the heels of the first against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
The Clippers then will play at home against Utah on Monday night and against Portland on Oct. 13 before finishing with road games at Utah and Sacramento.
Rivers was happy with the change from eight exhibition games to six last season.
“It’s more practice time,” Rivers said. “I just think eight games are too many games for guys. I think this is nice. You can play guys almost all of the minutes. You’ll give each guy rest in one of [the exhibition games] maybe now. But I think it gives you a better sense of urgency when you’re playing these games. So I think it’s good.”