After picking up a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Sixers continue their homestand on Friday. Next up is a matchup against Doc Rivers’ former team, the LA Clippers.
These two teams met back at the end of March, and the Clippers walked away with a 122-112 victory. Here are some things to watch as the Sixers look to split the season series.
Defending on the perimeter
One thing the Clippers do well as a team is shoot from deep. They have multiple players who shoot an efficient percentage from beyond the arc.
While they are in the middle of the pack in terms of attempts, no team shoots a better percentage. The Clippers currently lead the entire NBA in 3P% at 41.8%.
Defending on the perimeter will need to be a point of emphasis for the Sixers in this matchup. Guys like Ben Simmons, Danny Green, and Matisse Thybulle will have their work cut out in this game trying to make life hard for the Clippers' outside shooters.
Containing Paul George
The Clippers might be without one of their star players as Kawhi Leonard is dealing with a foot injury. That being said, they will still have the services of Paul George to lead the charge for them.
George has put together a good stretch of games in the Clippers' recent run, making containing him a key thing to watch in this matchup. With Leonard likely not taking the floor, this should be much easier.
Over his last five games, George is currently averaging 30.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.6 APG. He is also doing it with great efficiency, shooting 53.5% from the field, 58.8% from three, and 100% from the free-throw line.
If the Sixers can stop him from continuing his hot streak, they should easily walk away with the win on Friday night.
Using the size advantage
Another key player the Clippers will be without is Serge Ibaka, who did not make the trip with the because of a back injury. Not only does this leave them without their best defensive big man, but it leaves them very thin in the frontcourt.
With Ibaka out, the Clippers only have one real option to play at center. If Ivica Zubac gets into foul trouble, their next option at center is DeMarcus Cousins, who recently signed a second 10-day contract with the team.
With such little help in the frontcourt, the Sixers should look to get Joel Embiid going early. With his ability to draw fouls and get to the line, he could force the Clippers to go small.
Outside of Zubac and Cousins, the Clippers will have no active player over six-foot-right. This could be troublesome for them as they will have to deal with not only Embiid but Ben Simmons as well.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.