Take Philadelphia (#715)
The Clippers current slide is nothing to sugarcoat. They've lost five straight games SU and ATS, including a pair of home losses as favorites against the Heat and Grizzlies. In fact, since a couple of early blowouts, the Clips are just 1-4 SU here at the Staples Center in their last five tries, the lone win coming against hapless Dallas.
What's wrong with LA' Lots of things that Doc Rivers isn't likely to be able to fix anytime soon. The Clippers have injury woes, missing their top two point guards Patrick Beverly and Milos Teodosic. And the always injury prone Danilo Gallinari is sidelined again as well. They're a sub .500 team now despite strong offensive stats, ranked #4 in the NBA in efficiency ' stats that are primed to decline as they continue to play without their best point guards. Rookies Sindarius Thornwell and Juwan Evans are getting backcourt minutes they probably don't deserve. Defensively, the Clippers have been a sieve, allowing more than 113 points per game on 50% shooting during their current skid.
I want my money on Philly off back-2-back losses. The Sixers were flat and lethargic in a one point loss at Sacramento last Thursday, and followed it up with arguably their worst second half of the year after trailing by only one against Golden State at halftime. Think Philly is ready for a better effort tonight' These quotes might give you a glimpse'.
Head coach Brett Brown: 'The bar is set a little bit higher. The expectations are a little bit higher.I want to own it. With Joel healthy, I think we should. That's what I'm trying to do. You can't poke yourself in the eye. Those games haunt you. And, for all those reasons, I have the reaction that I had last night (off the bad loss) that, as you accurately say, has been different in previous years'. There are parts of (the Warriors game) that I think you will find positives in, but we feel like we're past that.'
Robert Covington: 'We will be better prepared. We have an idea how they are going to play. And we are (going to make) it be a different outcome."
Joel Embiid: 'We just have to do a better job. With the expectations out there, I don't like using the excuse that we're young, and I'm never going to use that. We've just got to do a better job of winning the games we are supposed to.'
Ben Simmons: 'I don't think anyone expected us to come out like this, and have a strong start like this, but that's what we expect. We come in every day trying to get better and win. That's our goal. We should win games like that.' Take the 76ers.