NBA Preseason 2017: Clippers prepare for their road opener in Toronto

(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

With the NBA preseason 2017 underway, the Los Angeles Clippers hope they can get things started on the right track.

Following last night’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Lakers lost their chance to stay one step ahead of the Clippers. Sure, it’s just preseason basketball, but with the addition of Lonzo Ball, every loss gets magnified more than it should.

The Los Angeles Clippers need to demonstrate in this NBA preseason that they can win road games against teams like Toronto in order to show that they’ve still got it.

It’s not like the Raptors are the biggest test that the Clippers will face throughout the preseason or in general — that would obviously be a team like the Golden State Warriors or the new look Oklahoma City Thunder. But not winning in Toronto gives the Lakers some small hope that they can retake LA as soon as this season.

In order for that not to happen, the Clippers will need Blake Griffin to play lights out and they’ll also need Patrick Beverley to shine. Ahead of their regular season opener against the Lakers, Los Angeles needs to also show that they can focus on defense.

Lonzo Ball is going to struggle against elite defenders such as Patrick Beverley, which will factor into how the whole scene unfolds to kick off the year. Toronto still has Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but Lowry is getting old and DeRozan can’t necessarily carry the team by himself.

Next: Lakers Lose Preseason Opener To T-Wolves

If the Clippers can’t at least make it close or win on the road, that may be some early warning signs that this season won’t go nearly as expected. After their game in Toronto, the Clippers will also square off against Portland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles after playing the Raptors on both Sunday and Tuesday.