It’s NBA on TNT and we are gifted another exciting matchup as the 76ers hit the road to battle it out against the star studded LA Clippers. Both teams are poised for deep playoff runs as legitimate contenders in each other’s respected conferences, giving us a potential NBA championship preview. If Paul George is cleared to go, this gives the Clippers a much-needed boost to bounce back during their slippage. Can the Clippers get their season back on track?
Philadelphia 76ers vs LA Clippers Betting Odds
Oddsmakers initially tempered their expectations on the Clippers ability to get the win, setting this as a near pick’em by opening them as a +1 underdog. Bettors think elsewise, backing them across zero and taking them up to as high as -2 as of writing. This is heavily predicated on the injury news of star player Paul George who was upgraded to Questionable. Should he be good to go, this gives the Clippers offense another weapon and will help turn around their falling Adjusted Offensive Efficiency ranking.
Speaking of offense, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 226. Bettors believe that was set too high from the start, quickly hammering the under down to as low as 223 as of writing. Both units are equipped to handle each other’s style of play, giving the potential of stalled out drives behind efficient defensive play. This is an immediate pass for me as I want to see how the Clippers operate with George making his return.
Philadelphia 76ers vs LA Clippers Prediction
The Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -1.5
With Paul George slotted to make his return, I will back the Clippers at home as his presence should give an immediate boost to their offensive efficiency. While they hover well above average in AdjO, their metric has severely dropped off over the course of 2023 as their lack of continuity has hurt any rhythm that they have tried to build. This has resulted in sloppy play and poor execution.
Losing Kawhi Leonard to load management throughout the season is tough enough to deal with, let alone not having their other star out on the court as well. With both of them back in the lineup, the Clippers have more than enough star power to contend against a championship contending team behind efficient offensive play. Especially from the perimeter, an area they will have a major advantage at as the 76ers perimeter defense has been their weak point.
The Clippers offensive success is heavily correlated with their ability to shoot the three, an area they rank top-10 in. Paul George is an elite shooter from deep, as well as a playmaker who is capable of cutting to the rim and hitting other shooters in open areas for high quality looks from deep. His production was made apparent in his absence as the Clippers three-point shooting drastically dropped in the midst of their losing stretch.
- 76ers are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 meetings against the Clippers
- 76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Los Angeles
Can the Clippers slow down the duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid?
Sixers one-two punch vs Clippers interior defense
While the Clippers offensive production has mainly relied on their ability to connect from deep, the 76ers take a more traditional approach by attacking the interior. They possess the best big man in Embiid, as well as James Harden who’s slashing ability is barnone.
While this style of play has led them to success, they will be hard pressed to replicate it against the Clippers who excel at limiting interior production. They are well above average at defending the paint, limiting completion percentage at the rim.
Embiid poses as a challenge, but the Clippers are well equipped to slow him down and make him uncomfortable on the block. This will force the 76ers to beat them elsewhere, a feat that I don’t believe they can pull off.
With the potential return of Paul George, back the Clippers at no higher than -2 as their offense should exploit the 76ers weak perimeter defense.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
LA Clippers Starting Lineups
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: N/A
Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Paul George (Q), Luke Kennard (O), John Wall (O)