Kicking off a 7-game Eastern Conference road slate, the L.A. Clippers (22-24) will pay a visit to Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers, and the steady Philadelphia 76ers (26-18) Friday night. Read on for our full Clippers vs. 76ers game preview.
Clippers vs. 76ers Game Information
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When: 4 p.m. PT
How to Tune in: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570 KLAC, KTMZ
Projected Starting Lineups:
L.A. Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Amir Coffey – Nicolas Batum – Marcus Morris Sr. – Ivica Zubac
Philadelphia 76ers: Tyrese Maxey – Isaiah Joe – Furkan Korkmaz – Tobias Harris – Joel Embiid
L.A. Clippers: Nicolas Batum – AVAILABLE (Health & Safety Protocols), Paul George – OUT (Right Elbow UCL Tear), Keon Johnson – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Kawhi Leonard – OUT (Right Knee; ACL – Injury Recovery), Marcus Morris Sr. – AVAILABLE (Personal Reasons), Jason Preston – OUT (Right Foot – Injury Recovery), Jay Scrubb – OUT (G League – Two Way)
Philadelphia 76ers: Seth Curry – OUT (Left Ankle Soreness), Danny Green – OUT (Right Hip Pain), Shake Milton – OUT (Back Contusion), Paul Reed – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Ben Simmons – OUT (Personal Reasons), Jaden Springer – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Matisse Thybulle – OUT (Right Shoulder Sprain)
Update: Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris Sr. will play tonight per Ty Lue. Batum’s quick stay in protocols was reportedly the result of an initial inconclusive test.
Update No. 2: Seth Curry (Ankle) has been ruled out.
The Big Picture
The Clippers’ tough season trudges along as the 213-duo-less squad is about to begin a 7-games-in-10-days stretch out east to close out the month. Following a nail-biter overtime loss at the hands of Nikola Jokić’s 49-point triple-double Wednesday night, LAC is set to face off against one of the league’s other one-of-a-kind centers who also just dropped 50 points in 27 minutes. While the upcoming opponent is much more formidable on paper compared to Denver, it appears the Clippers could be receiving some reinforcements for the challenge as well in Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris Sr., who combined for 53 points on Monday against Indiana. While the Clippers are just a half-game back out of the West’s eighth seed, they also come in as large underdogs once again for tonight’s matchup, so getting more positive reps and putting out another inspiring effort should remain the main priorities tonight.
One night you’re guarding Jokic, the other night you got Embiid. That’s just how it works.Ivica Zubac
With the league’s 10th rated offense and 11th rated defense, as well as having won 11 of their last 14 contests, it’s been smooth sailing for the Sixers as of late despite the ongoing Ben Simmons saga. Playing in 33 of Philly’s 44 games thus far, Joel Embiid is putting up averages of 28 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.4 blocks on 49/38/82 shooting. Embiid has also scored at least 25 points in 12 straight games. Tobias Harris certainly raises some question marks regarding his ability to be the second-best player on a championship-caliber team, but in the regular season, he’s been effective in his usual ways. Per NBA.com/stats, Harris is one of two players to appear in at least five games with averages of at least 15 points and five rebounds while shooting 50%+ from the field and 40%+ from three since Jan. 12. Meanwhile, second-year player Tyrese Maxey has taken full advantage of his minutes bump, averaging 16.6 ppg while starting alongside the ever-capable Seth Curry, who is questionable for tonight’s contest.
Clippers vs. 76ers Game Notes
- Zu Alcindor: Putting up a much-needed career-high 32 points (15-19 FG) to go with 10 rebounds (six offensive), three assists, a block, and a steal last time out, Ivica Zubac had the best game of his career against the reigning MVP. Tonight, Joel Embiid certainly is a different presence to try and finish in the paint against, however, throwing the ball down to Zu on the block and letting him work is something I would like to see a bit more of. Zubac’s post-game was hyperefficient and consistent on Wednesday even when the game was in the balance in the fourth, so hopefully, we can see him build off of some of that against Philly.
- More Reps: With guys continuing to take on elevated roles and responsibilities, tonight could be another great opportunity for Brandon Boston Jr. to get a feel for the game, for Terance Mann to work on his aggressiveness in the clutch, and Reggie Jackson to be the main assignment of the opposing defense. It will also be interesting to see if Amir Coffey can continue his hot streak of play, as well as if Luke Kennard can settle back into the flow of things a bit more. If available, having Nicolas Batum and/or Marcus Morris Sr. back should be a huge boost overall.
- All Eyes on Embiid: As for the scope of the game, it’s pretty similar to the Denver game in that it all comes down to the extent to which Joel Embiid is able to take over the game. The Clippers need to win the non-Embiid minutes, make it tough on him as much as possible, and hope no one else has an outlier night to give themselves a chance of stealing this one.
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