Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Clippers Preview and Pick

Philadelphia 76ers -3 (12-18) at L.A. Clippers +3 (8-22) O/U 189 9:30 PM ET Wednesday December 31, 2008
By Jason Green at

Tonight the Philadelphia 76ers travel to Tinseltown to play the L.A. Clippers. This is a match of 2 of the more disappointing teams this season. Both teams had high expectations coming into this season, as the 76ers signed F Elton Brand and the Clippers brought in Baron Davis and Marcus Camby. These moves did not do much to improve these team’s fortunes and in the case of the 76ers they have actually digressed after a surprising playoff run last year. This season the 76ers are in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division 14.5 games back of the Celtics, while the Clip Joint are in 4th place in the Pacific Division only 17 games back of the cross town Lakers. The 76ers are in a freefall, as they have lost 4 in a row and are 3-7 in their last 10 games, while the Clippers are not doing much better also losing 4 in a row and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

This season the 76ers are 5-10 away from the City of Brotherly Love and the Clippers have more wins away (5) then they do at home, only being 3-12 in La La land.

Online Sportsbooks have the 76ers as 3 point favorites with a total around 189. The 76ers are posted at -135 as away favorites and the Clippers are posted at +115 as home dogs.

The Clippers come into this game after losing 92-90 last night to the Pacific Division last place Sacramento Kings. The High scorer for the Clippers in that game was Erik Gordon with 24 points on 9/14 shooting. Marcus Camby had a great game going for 15 points, grabbing 24 boards, and blocking 4 shots. For the game the Clippers were throwing up bricks going 30/84 for a horrible FG% of only 35.7%. On defense the Clippers held the Kings to 32/84 for a FG% of 38.1%. Wow, the Clippers shoot 35.7% and the Kings shoot 38.1%, what an exciting game to watch.

The 76ers come into this game after losing to the Utah Jazz 112-95 on Monday night. The high scorers for the 76ers in that game was Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young both going for 17 points. For the game the 76ers shot 38/78 for a FG% of 48.7%. On defense the 76ers allowed the Jazz to shoot 42/82 for a FG% of 51.2%.

These are 2 of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA, as the 76ers rank 27th in scoring (94.4 ppg) and the Clippers rank 28th (93.7 ppg). These 2 teams are the worst 3-pt shooting teams in the league. On defense the 76ers rank a respectable 12th in points allowed (96.3 ppg) and the Clippers rank 18th (99.9 ppg). The Clippers, even with Camby, are a much worse rebounding team, as they have a rebounding differential of -3.2 rpg, while Philly is at +3.2 rpg.

This season anybody betting on either of these teams is losing cash, big time, as the 76ers are 12-18 ATS and the Clippers are 12-17. In terms of Over/Under games the 76ers are 13-19-2 this season and the Clippers are 18-15-1.

On the injury front the Clippers are decimated, as SF Ricky Davis, C Chris Kaman C, and PF Zach Randolph are Out, while the 76ers are reporting no significant injuries.

This game marks the return of Elton Brand to L.A., who he spurned to sign with the 76ers. Imagine a team with Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, and Brand. You think Brand is kicking himself these days? Even so, he is out until January with a shoulder injury.

For some reason the Clippers are horrible at the Staples Center with only 3 wins and they are averaging less than 90 points this season at home and have not hit the 80 point plateau in their last 2 home games.

Even though the Clippers are hurt by injuries they still match up pretty well tonight without Brand in the lineup. Baron Davis (17.5 ppg) can attack the rim and Camby should dominate the boards. Al Thornton (16.4 ppg) is scoring more than his counterpart at SF Andre Iguodala (15.3 ppg), who averaged over 20 points last season, but this season is shooting under 44% from the field and a horrible 22.8% from beyond the 3-point arc.

For the 76ers to win this game Samuel Dalembert and Thaddeus Young will have to keep Camby off the boards and not allow the Clippers 2nd chance points.

The Clippers will try to run up the score, as it is the only way they can win with their porous D.

Man, are the Clippers ever going to be legit? It seems they are cursed since they moved from San Diego. Maybe they should move back or they will keep being called, “L.A’s other team.”

Jason’s Pick: Take LA at +3 tonight.