The Sixers are one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season. The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the most exciting.
With power forward Blake Griffin throwing down monstrous dunks and Chris Paul, one of the premier players in all the league, running the point, the Clippers have bolted to a 15-8 start. The Clippers are one of the higher-scoring teams in the league, averaging 99 a contest. The Sixers are 0-5 this season when they allow a team to score 100 or more. Los Angeles is coming off a 99-92 loss to the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. It was their first game without guard Chauncey Billups, who hurt his Achilles' the prior game and is out for the season.
"We'd like to end this homestand in a very, very positive way," said Sixers coach Doug Collins, whose team will end a string of 18 of the past 22 games at home. "This is going to be a very difficult game. It reminds me a little bit of when Miami came in here (last Friday). Miami had gone into Milwaukee and blown a big lead, had a very tough practice, guys got together, sort of circled the wagons and came out and played arguably their best game of the season (99-79 Sixers loss). The Clippers went into Cleveland the other night and I thought they were dealing with the Chauncey injury; I thought there was an emotional situation there for them. Cleveland was playing very well. Yesterday they came in (to Philadelphia) and I think they got together and probably did the same thing.
"This is one of our toughest matchups. They have a brilliant point guard. They have four very big athletic bigs who roll to the basket, who play above the rim, and they have 3-point shooting. They're one of the best offensive teams in the league. This is going to be a very, very tough challenge for us tonight."
Collins also said the team will once again be without starting center Spencer Hawes, who will be out again due to an Achilles' strain. Hawes will be missing his 12th game in the last 14. Collins said that there is a chance that Hawes might not go on the road with the team, staying behind and getting rehab. The Sixers play at Cleveland on Saturday, at Charlotte on Monday and at Orlando on Wednesday.
Also, forward Elton Brand admitted that his sprained right thumb was still very sore but that he will push through.
More to come.