The Tip-Off: Sixers and Clippers meet again in primetime

There’s been quite a number of changes since these teams have last met back on February 11th, where the Sixers shocked the Clippers, 110-103.

The Los Angeles Clippers (40-19) will host Philly for the first time this season, as LA faces off with the Sixers (37-23) for the first time at home this season.

Coverage will begin at 3 p.m. with tip-off scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on ABC. Radio coverage will be on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Because of all the chaos among the Sixers’ squad, Philly is a 12.5-point underdog with an over/under set at 218.5.

Road Woes To Start Again

This will be the start of a Western road trip for Philadelphia. That sentence should be fearful enough.

Seriously though, it’s no secret at all how “Jekyll and Hyde” the Sixers have been on in their home and road splits. They only have nine road wins in their 30 away games. And now, they enter a pivotal part of the season. With games against the Clippers, Lakers, Kings, and Warriors coming up, it’s crucial that Philly goes 2-2, at the least. The Sixers enter this trip riding a seven-game road losing streak.

Injury Update:

According to Jeff Sversky, neither Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid traveled with the team to California. Simmons is expected to be out at least ten more days, and Embiid will not be evaluated until one day next week.

In Simmons’ absence, Shake Milton has emerged. He’s scored 20 and 19 points in the loss against the Cavs and the win over the Knicks, starting in both games. He’s totaled at least 32 minutes in each game and will be a key guy during this stretch.

After Embiid had to leave, Horford filled in at the five, with Kyle O’quinn picking up bench minutes. Horford struggled after Embiid left the game, but filled in nicely in the win over the Knicks. Despite struggling for the majority of the season, Horford scored 15 points, converting all four of his 3-point attempts, recording nine assists and grabbing seven boards in the win. If the Sixers want any chance, they’ll need an even better performance out of Horford and Tobias Harris.

The Numbers:

Clippers:

  • 115.9 PPG (4th in NBA)
  • 109.7 Points allowed (12th in NBA)
  • 14.3 Turnovers per game (17th in NBA)
  • Key player: Kawhi Leonard
    • 2019-2020 season: 27 PPG, 7.5 REB, 5.8 AST, 1.85 STL
    • Career vs. Philly: 24 PPG (including playoffs), 30 PPG this season

Prediction

This is one of the toughest games to predict. This Philadelphia team is so hit or miss with their good games. But, they are on the road, without their two stars, and optimism is low in and out of the locker room. No one will truly be able to guard Kawhi, and the Clippers’ depth will get to the Sixers early and often.

Sixers will drop this one, but will surprisingly keep it somewhat close, just because that’s how they work, for whatever reason.

Clippers win, 119-113.

Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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