The Tipoff: Sixers look to make a statement as they host Clippers

It’s here, it’s finally here.

The Los Angeles Clippers (37-16) make their first appearance in Philadelphia, as LA faces off with Philly (33-21) for the first time this season.

Coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. on TNT. Radio coverage will be on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Despite all the chaos among the Sixers’ squad, Philly is a mere two-point underdog with an over/under set at 225.5.

Team Updates:

Philadelphia acquired two new guys from the Warriors at the trade deadline. Both Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks took their good ole time to get to Philadelphia, and only former-Sixer Robinson made his appearance in the Sixers’ dominating win over the Bulls Sunday night.

Alec Burks, on the other hand, was not available for Sunday evening. However, according to Rich Hoffman, Tuesday’s game will change that:

Furkan Korkmaz has been on a tear recently. His 65 points over the last two games are the most by a bench player in Philadelphia’s franchise history. He has made 65% (13-20) of three-point attempts en route to his back-to-back 30+ point games. Korkmaz has single-handedly provided a much-needed spark for the Sixers’ offense. The Clippers are ranked top-five in opponents three-point percentage, so Korkmaz will have his work cut out for him in this one.

The Sixers expect to have their (preseason) starting five together for only the 19th time this season. Assuming Josh Richardson is ready to go for meaningful minutes, Shake Milton will look to make an impact off the Sixers’ bench after holding his ground as a starter in the last few games.

Know Your Enemy:

Los Angeles Clippers

The numbers-

  • 37-16 (T-2nd in Western Conference)
  • 115.8 PPG (4th)
  • 109.7 PA (13th)

Starting Five (+1)-

  • Kawhi Leonard: 27.1 PPG/ 7.2 REB/ 5.2 AST
  • Paul George: 22.6 PPG/ 6.1 REB/ 4.0 AST
  • Patrick Beverley: 8.0 PPG/ 5.8 REB/ 4.0 AST
  • Maurice Harkless: 5.5 PPG/ 4.0 REB/ 1.0 AST
  • Ivica Zubac: 8.1 PPG/ 7.1 REB/ 1.0 AST
  • Lou Williams (6th man): 19.3 PPG/ 3.1 REB/ 5.9 AST

Other Notes-

The Clippers recently added Marcus Morris at the trade deadline. In his Clippers’ debut, the Philly native scored 10 points in 22 minutes of work. Morris is exactly the valuable 3-and-D wing player the Sixers needed, and Morris looks to push for a championship with LA.

Former friend Landry Shamet returns to Philly Tuesday night. The sharpshooter is averaging 10.1 points off the Clippers’ bench per night. Oh, how we miss you in Philadelphia, Landry.

Key to the Game:

Use the Size Advantage

The Clippers lineup is small, especially at the center position. Their two main players at that position are Ivica Zubac, who is their “starter.” Other than that, the Clippers generally put the 6’7″ Montrezl Harrell as their five-man for the majority of the game.

It is time for Philly to get back to simplify this game. It’s obvious Kawhi is going to guard Simmons and is still going to get his on the offense side of the ball. The Sixers must use Horford (6’9) and Embiid (7’0) in the post if they want any chance at winning this game.

It’s time for Philadelphia to show their home fans their gassed up defensive and size advantage in comparison to the rest of the NBA.

Prediction:

This is one of the toughest games to predict. This Philadelphia team is so hit or miss with their good games. They are coming off dominating wins over the Grizzlies and Bulls but lost three straight games against tougher opponents. Prior to this, however, the Sixers were beating the harder opponents, and playing down to competition.

This game is a toss-up. The Sixers are dominant at Wells Fargo Center. Along with this, Embiid seems to be seeking vengeance after being boo’ed. The combination of the two makes me lean toward a Sixers’ statement win over the Clippers.

It’ll be close and live up to the prime time TV slot. Sixers win, 121-117.

Matter sure to catch some post-game reaction on @RingtheBellPod from PSN’s own David Esser and I!

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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