The Los Angeles Clippers open their season Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers in a nationally televised game at Staples Center.The 7:30 p.m. PDT game is one of four Clippers' games on ESPN this season, and will simultaneously be televised on Prime Ticket.
The Clippers are 18-22 all-time on opening night, including 1-2 against Portland. The Clippers were 1-3 last season against Portland. The Clippers were 1-7 during the preseason, which was their worst exhibition record since going 0-2 in the strike-shortened 1999 preseason. The Clippers were also 0-6 in the 1986 preseason.
Blake Griffin led the NBA in rebounding in the preseason, averaging 12.3 per contest, and will make his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a non-displaced stress fracture of his left patella.
Chris Kaman, coming off his first All-Star selection last season, averaged 16.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game during the preseason. Kaman was just one of just eight NBA players last season to average 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Blazers defeated the Phoenix Suns 106-92 in their season opener Tuesday night at the Rose Garden in Portland.
On Monday the Clippers waived guard Marqus Blakely, trimming their roster to 14 players. On Clips Nation, Steve Perrin analyzed the transaction:
It was clearly going to be a tough transition for Blakely. At 6'5", he played power forward in college, getting almost all of his scoring in the paint at Vermont (go Catamounts!) He was going to have to be a small forward or even a shooting guard in the NBA. His athleticism and length are elite - he was the Clippers' best wing defender in Summer League by a long shot. But his ball skills on the offensive end need a lot of work, and that may be a lengthy process, if indeed he can ever get to an NBA level there.
Given the nature of the transition he was attempting, it could definitely take some time. To that end, don't be surprised if Marqus Blakely winds up back in the Assoc. in a year or two. The guy can play.
Here is the Clippers' opening roster:
- Point Guard: Baron Davis
- Shooting Guard: Eric Gordon
- Small Forward: Ryan Gomes
- Power Forward: Blake Griffin
- Center: Chris Kaman
- Guards: Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, Rasual Butler, Willie Warren
- Forwards: Craig Smith, Al-Farouq Aminu, Brian Cook
Center: DeAndre Jordan, Jarron Collins
For more Clippers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Clips Nation.