The suddenly-healthy Clippers are legit. Legit as in they could possibly come out of the West if Del Negro can push the right buttons. Typically, with the talent they have on their roster I wouldn't pin the post season hopes so much on a coach, but LA is so deep, with so many different options, he's going to have to pull the right strings to get through several seven-game series. Tonight, against the Sixers, he probably won't have to pull too many to grab the road win.
The Clippers played last night, the Sixers didn't. That's Philly's only advantage coming into this game. Man-for-man, up and down the roster, that's it. LA wins every single matchup, handily.
Maybe, just maybe the Sixers can win the matchups on the perimeter considering Billups and CP3 will both be playing their third game in four days after lengthy absences due to injury. That's a big maybe, though. And behind those two guys they have capable backups in Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe.
Butler and Crawford are the main threats from distance (Butler is listed as a game-time decision). CP3 can shoot it, and Bledsoe is hitting at better than 40%, but doesn't attempt many. I expect we'll see a lot of Holiday/Pargo in the back court, especially when Crawford comes into the game. Jrue will see time chasing Crawford around.
Keep Blake Griffin on the outside (he's under 38% on 4.5 attempts/game outside of 10 feet). Stop the lobs. Make CP3 work. Pressure Bledsoe when he's in the game. Hope they're tired. Very, very, very tired.
With 12 games left 'til the All Star break, the goal was 7-5. So far, they're 6-4. Split these last two and Evan Turner can go to the Bahamas feeling good
, without having to worry about people heckling him on the street.
The tip is at 7pm. Use this as your game thread. I'll be watching on DVR.