Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers make their first appearance of the season at the Wells Fargo Center tonight to face a Sixers team that has won 6 of their last 8 games. The Clippers have lost three in a row and seven of their past nine.
Griffin has been tremendous in his first season (missing all of last year due to injury in left knee), averaging 20.3 points and 11.9 rebounds. He has benefitted from the play of guard Eric Gordon, who is averaging 24.5 points a game.
The Sixers surivived Tuesday in an 82-77 win over the Nets, despite getting killed on the boards and again playing shaky down the stretch.
Spencer Hawes had his best game so far as a Sixer on Tuesday, going for 18 points. He collected most of his points from the outside, where he was stroking his jumper. He said he made a conscious effort to play outside on the offensive end because of his advantage over the bigger, but slower, Brook Lopez.
It might be a good idea tonight for Hawes to do the same thing against the Clippers. Deandre Jordan will probably be assigned to Hawes, but will also have inside help from Griffin. Jordan is a good shot blocker, so keeping him out of the lane is also a good idea.
It will be interesting to see how Elton Brand makes out in his matchup with Griffin, both offensively and defensively.
This is another winnable game for the Sixers, and compiling them before they embark on an eight-game road trip starting Wednesday has been a priority of coach Doug Collins. They'll want a far better overall effort than the one they gave Tuesday.