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Clippers vs Sixers preview: The patsy parade rolls on

The Clippers welcome another in a string of subpar opponents. This time it is the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers that come into STAPLES.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
2014/2015 NBA Regular Season

January 3rd, 2015, 7:30 PM
Prime Ticket, KFWB 980 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Win-Loss Breakdown
10-5 East 3-13
12-6 West 1-13
14-4 Home 0-14
8-7 Road 4-12
7-9 .500+ 0-15
15-2 .500- 4-11
6-4 L10 2-8
Probable Starters
Chris Paul PG Michael Carter-Williams
J.J. Redick SG JaKarr Sampson
Matt Barnes SF Robert Covington
Blake Griffin PF Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
DeAndre Jordan C Nerlens Noel
Advanced Stats
96.32 (13th of 30) Pace 99.52 (3rd of 30)
109.6(3rd of 30) ORtg 90.7 (30th of 30)
103.7 (15th of 30) DRtg 102.8 (13th of 30)
Nerlens Noel (ankle) day-to-day

Joel Embiid (foot) out

Jason Richardson (foot) out

Hollis Thompson (illness) day-to-day

The Back Story : This is the first meeting between the two team this season. The Clippers won both games last season.

Date Venue Final
12/9/2013 Wells Fargo Center Clippers 94 - Sixers 83 Recap Box
2/9/2014 STAPLES Center Clippers 123 - Sixers 78 Recap Box

The Big Picture: The Clippers closed out 2014 with a beatdown of the New York Knicks, a team in utter disarray. They will look to open the year with a similar result by facing a team with an even worse record - though for very different reasons. One of the things that has stood out this year is, for the most part, the Clippers win the games they are supposed to win. They haven't really fallen into a trap - so to speak. Facing a team that severely struggles to score points, the Clips should be able to put this one away early.

The Antagonist: The 76ers appear to be, once again, in all out tank mode. The vast majority of their losses have been ugly. They have been held to 79 points or less six times this season - the same amount of times they have broken the century mark. The Sixers have also been bitten by the injury bug. Rookie C Joel Embiid has missed the entire season with a foot injury, as has veteran SG Jason Richardson. Numerous other players have been benched by various ailments, including Nerlens Noel, who has missed the last handful of games with a tweaked ankle. Philadephia is coming off a 40-point demolition at the hands of the Warriors.

The Subplots

  • Comparison of key metrics. As stated earlier, the Sixers are not good on offense, their rating has them dead last in the NBA. Their defensive rating is slightly above average but their pace is among the highest in the league. The Clippers have a very similar defensive rating to the Sixers but have an offensive rating that places them among the league's elite. This should be the difference in the game tonight.
  • Practice. Yesterday, the Clippers were able to practice for the first time in forever. Okay, it's really a hair's breadth away from a month, but still, the lack of practice was having an effect on the players. Blake Griffin was quoted in this article, "You can see the slippage, the things that we're kind of messing up on that we shouldn't be. But Doc said and everybody said, I think everybody acknowledges it, it will be nice to get some practice time in being at home."
  • Getting Fat. Since the Clippers have struggled against solid competition this season, it is incredibly important to rack up wins against also-rans like Philadelphia and other cellar dwellers. The Clips have done an admirable job this season, going 15-2 against teams with losing records. They need to continue the trend tonight as the next handful of games will see a step up in competition.
  • Big Woes in Philly. The 76ers have a had a string of bad luck with bigs these past few years. First the Andrew Bynum debacle and then they drafted Noel who missed his first season (granted they knew he was injured at the time of the draft). Now their latest first-rounder, the highly-touted Joel Embiid, is likely to miss his entire first season with a foot injury. Fans must be increasingly frustrated with lack of a dependable and healthy front court.
  • The Bench. One of the glaring issues has been the Clippers bench and the inability to hold leads. A large part of those issues have been due to health. Jamal Crawford has been dealing with an injury to his shooting elbow that has clearly had an effect on his accuracy. He told reporters he is feeling much better. Likewise, Spencer Hawes has returned from injury and has told numerous outlets that he is finally feeling like himself again on the court. Hopefully these developments in health lead to a consistent attack from the second unit.
  • All-Star push. As All-Star weekend quickly approaches, make sure to vote for your favorite Clippers here. There are slightly more than 2 weeks left to make your voice heard.
  • Connections. Clipper big, Spencer Hawes, played the better part of four seasons in Philadelphia. Sixer forward, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Clipper guard, Jordan Farmar, were teammates at UCLA. Injured Sixer, Jason Richardson, and Matt Barnes were teammates on the "We Believe" Warriors. Richardson was also a part a trade package from the Suns to the Magic that included Clipper back-up Hedo Turkoglu in 2011, where they were teammates with Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Clippers Assistant Coach, Mike Woodson, held the same position with the 76ers from 2001-2003.
  • Get the Philadelphia perspective Liberty Ballers.
  • Wikipedia Entry: Federalist No. 76 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton and the seventy-sixth of The Federalist Papers. It was published on April 1, 1778 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist Papers were published. The title is, The Appointing Power of the Executive, and is the tenth in a series of 11 essays discussing the powers and limitations of the Executive branch.