Paul Pierce now knows the path he will have to take to help his hometown team reach the postseason in his first year as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The NBA recently released the schedule for the 2015-16 campaign, and as the Clippers try to traverse the regular season — with sights set on a playoff run at the NBA Finals — Paul and his new team will be hard to miss for pro basketball viewers, with a slew of nationally televised games on the slate for the contending Clips.
The Truth and his Los Angeles teammates will appear on national television for 33 of their 82 regular season games—the most in franchise history. LA is scheduled to appear on ABC four times, on TNT 10 times, on ESPN 10 times and on NBATV nine times. Their 24 appearances on the NBA’s national partners: ABC/ESPN and TNT trail only last year’s two NBA Finals contestants: the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
It all begins with Paul’s Clippers debut, which happens to be one of the less than 50 games for LA that will be broadcast locally. That Oct. 28 tilt on the road against the Sacramento Kings can be seen on Prime Ticket. The opener is the front end of a back-to-back, the first of 20 for the Clippers this coming season, and the next night Paul’s first home game with LA will be showcased on TNT as the Clips host the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Los Angeles won’t have to wait long to solidify themselves as a Western Conference title contender. In just their fifth game, the Clips will take on the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors when they travel to Oakland on Nov. 4 for a game that will also be broadcast nationwide, at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Clips also have a quick chance at revenge early in the year. They’ll play host to the Houston Rockets, who eliminated them from the 2015 playoffs, on Nov. 7.
Another highly anticipated Clips-Mavs matchup follows on Nov. 11 at Dallas’s American Airlines Center, airing on ESPN. Then just eight days later, the script will flip once again, as the Warriors come to the Staples Center for a TNT Thursday Night matchup.
Paul is no stranger to the league’s Christmas Day showcase and this year will be no different for The Truth. The Battle for Los Angeles will be featured as the final matchup on the holiday slate at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Lakers will act as the home team in that Staples Center hallway game. The contest will technically kick off a five-game road trip, which takes the Clips up to the New Year. That quest includes a return trip to Washington D.C., where Paul played for the Wizards last season, to face his former team on Dec. 28.
After the Clippers return from that trip, they’ll play six of their next seven at home, capped by a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup against the Rockets at 10:30 p.m. ET, Jan. 18 on TNT. The four meetings between the playoff rivals this regular season will come Nov. 7, Dec. 19, Jan. 18 and Mar. 16.
After that third meeting with Houston, the Clips will again hit the road a five-game trip, touring a quintet of Eastern Conference cities. That trip begins with a Thursday night TNT tilt against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 21. They’ll end the month of January at home against another top East contender, the Chicago Bulls. That Sunday matinee will air at 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC.
On Feb. 10, The Truth and head coach Doc Rivers will ship up to Boston to face off against their former squad the Celtics at a place they both used to call home, TD Garden. This will be the first time Paul and Doc share the same bench at the Garden since their memorable time together as a player-coach tandem on the C’s. The Clips will also host Paul’s former team on Mar. 28.
February also brings a few more big Western Conference matchups for the Clippers. The San Antonio Spurs, who the Clips ousted from the playoffs last season, will visit Staples Center on the 18th for a game that can be seen on TNT. As the Spurs depart the defending champion Warriors will arrive for am ABC Saturday Night Special on the 20th of February.
March is even more jam-packed, beginning with an ESPN presentation of the Clips against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Mar. 2 at 7:30 p.m. PT. After that game LA plays host to last year’s No. 1 seed in the East the Atlanta Hawks, then heads to Dallas to face the Mavericks once more. That two-game swing precedes a string of five consecutive nationally televised games.
The five-game stretch includes meetings with the Thunder, the New York Knicks, the Cavs and the Spurs before commencing with the fourth and final regular-season showdown with the Rockets. Los Angeles’s final regular-season meeting with Golden State follows just a week later in Oakland.
The regular season winds down in April, which begins with a visit from Paul’s former team, the Wizards on April 3rd. Following that tilt, the Clippers have back-to-back games against the Lakers on the 5th and 6th, with the Clips playing host in the first game and the Lakers taking the last. Following that back-to-back, the Clippers travel to play the Utah Jazz before hosting the Mavs and the Memphis Grizzlies to conclude their home schedule. The regular-season finale for Paul and Co. will be in Phoenix against the Suns on Apr. 13.
To see the team’s full schedule and to add it to your calendar, visit Clippers.com.