Los Angeles Clippers (21-13) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (3-32)
Staples Center Center
7:30 p.m. PST
January 2, 2015
Fox Prime Ticket
1. Who should get the credit for the Sixers tripling their win total: Jerry Colangelo, Mike D’Antoni or Ish Smith?
Aaron Williams (@aaronsmarter): Dumb luck? I don’t want to offend anybody, but “The Process” has proven to be a black mark on the entire NBA. The Sixers have been so bad it seems like their wins so far have all been accidents rather than the result of any sort of cohesive plan. I do think D’Antoni is probably the right coach to teach those kids how to break the bad losing habit – I just hope it’s not until *after* they leave LA.
Brandon Tomyoy (@dingyu): A bit of all of the above? It definitely didn’t hurt that those wins came against two teams that are facing their own slumps and personal turmoil. Also, their expected win-loss is actually higher than their current record, so consider those wins a bit of normalization in the standings.
Roscoe Whalan (@RoscoeWhalan7): I’m giving Ish the chocolates for this one (or should it be Colangelo who brought him in?). He’s by far one of the fastest dudes in the league and was also a welcome addition in New Orleans, for a time earlier this season. In 4 games with the 76ers he’s averaged nearly 16 points per game and 7 assists per contest and they’ve gone .500 over that stretch. He’s the greatest thing to happen to Philly since AI.
2. After winning 5 straight on the road is this a danger game?
Williams: I can see how it would be. I also think the difference in talent level between these two teams is pretty great. Actually, it’s more like a chasm, and I don’t really think Philly has the tools to bridge the gap. I just feel bad for Law; that invitation to claim your adopted city is still open, buddy.
Tomyoy: In many circumstances, it can be with these Clippers. The positive road trip, the level of competition, the first game after a holiday… these have all been previous scapegoats for many a Clippers’ loss. That said, in the Doc Rivers era, this team has appeared so laser focused when Blake Griffin or Chris Paul have had to miss serious time, and this has been no exception.
Whalan: Trap Schmap. This is not a game the Clippers should lose. They’re back in LA, and have a day’s rest under the belts — plus the 76ers are on the second night of a back-to-back. That said, stranger things have happened…
3. Over/Under 219.5 3-point makes for J.J. Redick this season?
Williams: Hello, have you met me? I’m taking the over. J.J. is playing the best ball of his life, the Clippers are finally finding their rhythm, and Blake the beast is coming back to swing more weak side passes his way. This might be the year Ralph Lawler finds a new catch phrase named after one Jonathan Redick.
Tomyoy: Considering that he just finished a December where he made 45 threes in the month alone, I’ll take the over.
Whalan: Over. He’s already made 77 in 30 games this season and if you extrapolate that out I think the odds are good. That said, last season was the first time J.J. hit 200 3s in a season — he also played 78 games. So, therein lies the rub — if he stays healthy this is a solid bet.