Look for a strong game from Elton Brand tonight when he faces his former mates from Los Angeles. Lay the points on Philadelphia 76ers when the 76ers host the Clippers.
The “Main Event” tonight is the Clippers vs. the Sixers. But maybe more interesting will be the undercard as former Clipper Elton Brand faces his former team.
Brand, who signed with Philadelphia as a free agent this past offseason, spent seven years in LA where he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. However he surprised the Clippers by opting out of the final year of his contract to sign with the Sixers. This is where it gets dicey. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said that Brand had made a verbal agreement to return to Los Angeles if the team acquired Davis, but he signed a five-year deal worth nearly $80 million with Philadelphia on July 9. Brand says he never maid a committment to return.
So the Clippers being the Clippers (sort of like Manny being Manny) not only lost Brand, but also saw Corey Maggette depart for Golden State. With those offseason disasters, it’s easy to see why the Clippers are off to a 2-9 start and headed for another lottery pick.
You can’t blame Brand or Maggette for the sorry state of the Clippers. The problems start at the top with owner Donald Sterling and filters down to the front office. As great a player as he was, former General Manager Elgin Baylor didn’t have the same management chops and his failures ultimately cost him his job.
Regarding tonight’s game, both teams have struggled recently. Brand and Andre Igoudala haven’t jelled yet, although Philly is a game above .500. The Clippers are just paper thin. You start with Chris Kaman and Al Thornton who’ve been solid this season. But Davis, the big money guy, has struggled. He’s shooting a career low 36 percent and averaging jut 15.5 points per game. He’s finding out, if he hasn’t already discovered, that life with the Clippers isn’t as fun as it was with Golden State.
The line opened at the Sixers -10 and the total at 192½. As of last night there were some shops where you get the Sixers at 9½.
The question tonight is who has the emotional edge? Is it the Clippers who were left at the alter and hope to take it on Brand and his new team? Or will the Sixers take it to another level tonight to help Brand beat his former team. I say the later happens and Philadelphia rolls to a big double-digit win and cover.
Free Pick: 76ers -9½ (-110)