In an exciting clash in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers will take on the LA Clippers tonight at Staples Center. The 76ers have shown incredible resilience as they continue to win games despite the absence of their star center and MVP candidate, Joel Embiid.
Meanwhile, the LA Clippers seem to have found their rhythm again and enter this matchup on a four-game winning streak. They have also bolstered their roster by adding the services of veteran Rajon Rondo ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
The 76ers have won 10 of their last 11 games and nothing seems to be able to stop Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. They too added George Hill and Ignas Brazdeikis ahead of the NBA trade deadline, however, both aren't expected to play tonight.
This could be a tough game for the LA Clippers as they've listed players as either questionable or ruled out, including the recently acquired Rondo and star forward Kawhi Leonard.
Philadelphia 76ers vs LA Clippers: 3 key matchups to look out for
In this star-studded clash, a few individual matchups will determine the game. Although Kawhi Leonard might not play and 76ers' Joel Embiid recovers from a knee injury, the game is still expected to be thrilling. Let's take a look at 3 key matchups that may determine the outcome of the game.
#3 Reggie Jackson (LA Clippers) vs Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
With Patrick Beverly ruled out along with Rajon Rondo, the point guard position is filled by Reggie Jackson. Jackson's defense has improved lately, but he isn't known for his defensive prowess. Ben Simmons, on the other hand, has been on an upward trajectory, and is also in contention for the 'Defensive Player of the Year' award. Jackson will probably be struggling tonight against a beast like Simmons and he will have his hands full guarding him.
With so many guards listed as injured on the LA Clippers roster, they will need to collectively help in defending the 76ers shooters.
#2 Paul George (LA Clippers) vs Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers)
Paul George and Seth Curry have faced each other a few times before. George has guarded Seth Curry during the Thunder vs Trail Blazers series as well as the Mavericks vs Clippers series. Seth Curry is one of the best catch-and-shoot three-point shooters in the game and the person guarding him has to constantly battle through screens.
Paul George is an incredible two-way player who will now have to handle a bigger burden with Leonard supposedly absent. He will have to score the majority of the team's points while also guarding the shooters on the 76ers, mainly Curry and also occasionally Danny Green.
#1 Nicolas Batum (LA Clippers) vs Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers)
Tobias Harris has been incredible for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. He is averaging nearly 21 points per game (a career-high) and is shooting 54% from the floor and 41% from the three. Nicolas Batum is a great defensive player and he will be locked in on defending Tobias Harris tonight.
Meanwhile, Batum has been shooting a remarkable 43% from three this season and Harris will have his hands full at the defensive end as well. Both power forwards play near the perimeter and are expected to guard each other for the majority of the night.