The Super Bowl is over. Deflategate and questionable last second calls are behind us. College and NFL football are over until the fall and baseball hasn’t quite started yet. In general, February is the “slowest” month of the year for sports. So, our two active, major professional sports are basketball and hockey.
For the hoops fans among us, the Los Angeles Clippers continue to fight for a playoff spot, but they do so with a relatively light February home schedule. They host the Houston Rockets on Feb. 11, the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 19, the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 21 and close out their home games by hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 23. The Clippers home games are at the Staples Center in Downtown LA (if there really is a Downtown LA), the same location as the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers don’t have to worry about the playoffs this year. They started out poorly and, as injuries have started to pile up, so have the losses. The Lakers can look to their past with pride and to their future for a high draft pick, but for now, it’s simply a struggle. They also have only four home games this month, starting with the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 10, followed by the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 20, the Boston Celtics (historically one of the great sports rivalries) on Feb. 22 and closing out the month with the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 27.
For those who enjoy college basketball, February is the run-up to March Madness, one of the great college sports spectacles. Almost 70 college teams will play a month-long, single elimination tournament to determine the best in the land. UCLA is fighting for a post in the tournament and will host three games at Pauley Pavilion in February. On Feb. 11, UCLA will get an Oregon State visit from the Beavers, followed by the Oregon Ducks on Feb. 14. Washington will be at Pauley to play the UCLA Bruins on Feb. 25.
USC is struggling this year and is a miracle away from March Madness, but continues to battle. Their home games are played at the Galen Center and include: Oregon State on Feb. 11, the Oregon Ducks on Feb. 15, Washington State on Feb. 25 and the Washington Huskies on Feb. 28.
It’s easy to lose track of the seasons in Southern California, but across much of the nation, it is winter and, for many, winter means hockey. For us, it means the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are playing. At the very same Staples Center where the Lakers and Clippers play their home games, so do the Los Angeles Kings. This month, they’ll be hosting the Calgary Flames on Feb. 12, the Washington Capitals on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, and the Tampa Bay Lightening on Feb. 16. They close out the month with the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 24 and the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 26,
A few miles south of the Staples Center is the Honda Center, where the Anaheim Ducks invite their opponents to the rink. For February, six teams have RSVP’d “yes“ with the Hurricanes playing on Feb. 3, the Washington Capitals on Feb. 15 and the Tampa Bay Lightening on Feb. 18. There will also be a busy five days to close out the month when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 23, the Washington Senators on Feb. 25 and their cross-town rivals the Los Angles Kings on Feb. 28.
For the events listed above, detailed information is available at the team and event websites. Be sure to check the dates, times and ticket availability. And, please know that this short column only touches the surface of the various sporting events available for your viewing pleasure. I’ve tried to cover the “bigger events” and a couple of those that might be less known. While you’re visiting, should you find an upcoming event that you think would be of interest, or one I missed this month but should note for next year, just drop me a line. Enjoy!