76ers at Clippers – NBA Pick for November 13th
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Los Angeles Clippers are ravaged by injuries. Perhaps the NBA’s most cursed franchise has been beset by physical ailments yet again this season, and they’ve struggled to string together wins as a result. Despite having started the season 4-0, L.A. has now dropped 7 of its last 8 to drop to just 5-7 on the year.
LAC will be without three key contributors once again tonight, as Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley, and Milos Teodosic are all out of the lineup. Doc Rivers has been forced to insert rookie Sindarius Thornwell into the starting lineup at shooting guard, which tells you all you need to know. Rivers typically loathes playing rookies, yet he’s having to use two (Jawun Evans being the other) for heavy rotation minutes these days.
The Clippers’ offense has been downright brutal without those key players available. The L.A. offense essentially boils down to either Blake Griffin or Austin Rivers going into isolation offense along with very little off-ball movement. They shot just over 40 percent as a team in Saturday’s loss to the Pelicans, and they could muster nothing in crunch time when the game was close.
Griffin has been largely great this season, but the Clippers aren’t much of a threat if he’s the only player on the floor capable of scoring consistently. This is where the Clips miss the likes of Chris Paul and J.J. Redick the most. When Griffin’s shot isn’t falling, the Clippers’ offense is incredibly easy to stop.
Young 76ers Struggles
The 76ers, meanwhile, come into this game having lost back-to-back games against the Kings and Warriors. They were able to stick close with Golden State for a while before the defending champs ramped things up in the second half on their way to a lopsided 135-114 victory.
The early-season headlines for the Sixers have been youngsters Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid has picked up right where he left off last season. Through the first 10 games of the year, the big man is averaging a team-high 19.8 points, along with 10.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Embiid missed both Sixer games against the Clippers last season, which means this will be the first time he gets to tangle with DeAndre Jordan down low.
As for Simmons, he is an early frontrunner to take home Rookie of the Year honors. Frankly, he could even be an All-Star if he keeps this up. The former LSU standout has been rather quiet in his last two outings, but on the season, he’s averaging a tidy 17.4 points, along with 9 rebounds and 7.8 assists. Simmons has essentially been a younger version of LeBron James in the season’s early stages.
We’ll also get Redick’s first game in LA since moving to Philly this past summer. The sharpshooter has wasted no time in making himself right at home alongside his new teammates. Redick is averaging nearly 16 points per game on his typically excellent 44.9 percent shooting from three-point range. Look for him to come out gunning tonight against his former club.
The Clippers are slight favorites in this one, but I really haven’t liked what I’ve seen from them of late. LAC has played hard, but they just don’t have enough firepower at the moment. The Sixers are certainly a flawed club themselves, but they just have more talent than the current version of the Clips.
I think Philly can win this one outright, which makes them an excellent value, both on the moneyline and against the 1.5-point spread.