The Los Angeles Clippers (37-16) and Philadelphia 76ers (33-21) will face off in Tuesday night’s first Showdown. They haven’t met since January 1st, 2019, and a lot has changed since then. A year ago, the Clippers were a star-less unit of overachievers. But they’ve traded for All-Stars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over the offseason, while adding Marcus Morris ahead of the 2020 trade deadline. The 76ers lost out on Jimmy Butler, but bolstered their frontcourt with the addition of Al Horford. Both teams are gritty with tons of defensive upside. We broke down Showdown strategies for the matchup here:
The brace Joel Embiid ($15,300) has been using on his left hand didn’t make an appearance at practice Tuesday, which could be a sign that the big man’s finger is nearing a full recovery from the finger injury he suffered in January. He’s put up solid stat lines since his return from surgery, but he could see a surge in efficiency now that he’ll be able to shoot and dribble without restrictions. The Clippers’ Ivica Zubac and Montrezll Harrell haven’t faced Embiid yet this season, and they’ll be challenged whether he’s at 100% or not.
George ($13,800) isn’t the Clippers top offensive option, but he’ll likely have a favorable matchup against the 76ers. Both he and Leonard are wings, but Leonard will likely command the attention of elite defender Ben Simmons. George is more likely to be guarded by a much more average defender — Tobias Harris. George has scored more than 20 points in four of his last five games and has continued to be a plus on the defensive end himself with blocks and steals.
Philadelphia has been looking for a point guard to back up Simmons, and now they have one in Alec Burks ($4,400). The 28-year-old is having a career year and averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in 48 appearances with the Golden State Warriors. He’s also shooting 37.5% from deep and gives the 76ers a ball handler who can space the floor. Brett Brown says Burks will definitely make his 76ers debut Tuesday, and he’s worth giving a shot.
Although Burks is now in the fold, it’s hard to ignore how great Furkan Korkmaz ($5,200) has been. Korkmaz has been on fire over the course of his last two appearances, totaling 100.3 DKFP. He’s scored more than 30 points in back-to-back wins for the 76ers while shooting 65% from three and 73.5% from the field. Josh Richardson’s ($3,800) decline should benefit Korkmaz. It’s hard to stay not go with him when he’s this hot.