Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
NBA / Interconference
Friday, February 10th, 2012
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA. 7:00 PM EST

 Analysis of the Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers, the darlings of the NBA this season, have finished half of their road test (5 games against the Eastern Conference and a game at the defending champion Mavericks) fairly well, winning against the Wizards and Magic before dropping a shocker in Cleveland. Currently standing at 15-8 and 1st place in their division, a couple wins to close out this road streak would put them in great position to finish out the month of February on a strong note.

 Analysis of the Philadelphia 76ers

The Clippers may get most of the headlines and attention with big names like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but the 76ers have been the surprise of the league so far. Behind a team-first mentality (promoting good ball movement and a shutdown defense) the 76ers have roared out to a 18-8 start and 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, just a game behind the league-favorites Heat. A win against a hot team like the Clippers would help to solidify the 76ers as not just a hot team during the start of the season, but also a team to watch out for come May.

 Key Players

Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Paul
Griffingets most of the highlights, but the Clippers are run by this man, Chris Paul. He will need to play well and limit both his and his teammates turnovers if they are going to get by the 76ers tough defense.

 

Philadelphia 76ers: Andre Iguodala
Iguodala has a couple things going for him in this game. The Clippers have a big lack of defense and his matchup for this game, Caron Butler, maybe be out with an injured back. He’s also the swingman for the 76ers, expected to shoot well in their biggest games. If he can, the 76ers will win.

 Key Statistics

Opponents PPG (points per game):
The 76ers have stepped up big on defense this year, hitting 2nd in the league in team defense (allowing 87 ppg). The Clippers are on the opposite end, allowing 97 ppg (good for the bottom 6 in the league). The Clips will have to overcome a tough defense and step up their own if they want to win.

 Prediction

The Clippers have consistently stepped up in games they weren’t thought to win this season, including games against the Heat, Lakers, and Magic (to name just a few). The 76ers aren’t one of these big names, but are playing like it. I think the Clippers are going to slow down a little bit from this tough road test and will drop one here (without putting up much of a fight).

                                         Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers: 95 – Los Angeles Clippers: 79

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