I am getting repetitive, and I am sorry but the Los Angeles Clippers have had the busiest offseason of any team in the NBA. Two new additions to the squad have arrived in veteran Antawn Jamison and former BYU standout Brandon Davies. With the acquisition of these two, the offseason for the Clippers is essentially done. There are currently 16 players on the roster and the final spot will be occupied by Maalik Wayns or Davies. We’ve previewed the first two months of the season, now lets move into the year of 2014 and take a look at the Clippers January schedule for this coming season.
In the first seven games of the month, the only proven opponent on the schedule are the San Antonio Spurs. With home games against Charlotte, Orlando, Boston, the Lakers, and Dallas the Clippers are looking at a pretty favorable stretch in which they could win around six games. They will need it, because after this stretch comes a east coast road trip which could prove to be tiring for the Clippers.
The eastward trip begins with a matchup in Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks on a Friday night, where the game will be featured on ESPN. The following night the Clippers travel to Indiana where the greatest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference lies in the Pacers. It will be crucial for the Clippers to have positive results in both of these games to ensure that the road swing starts off on a positive note. This is a difficult pair of games because of the questions which the Clippers have at the three position. Once again, Jared Dudley cannot contend offensively or defensively with Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Danny Granger. Coach Doc Rivers will rely heavily on his bench in this time period, there will be a lot of tired bodies out there and production from veterans like Crawford, Barnes, and Jamison will be crucial if the Clippers plan on being successful in this stretch.
Luckily, things get easier as the remaining teams on the trip are Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago, Toronto, and Milwaukee. Regardless of how poor the quality of a majority of these opponents are, they come in a stretch of seven games in eight days which is never easy. But the Clippers are making a eastward swing similar to in the prior month and will know exactly what to expect.
The season ends with a home game against Washington and will conclude with an intra state battle against Golden State in Oakland. The key is to stay focused, and that is exactly what the Clippers will do. I am projecting them to go 11-5 in the month of January and keep plowing ahead into what will be another successful season.