On the Lookout: Sixers, Clippers look to keep momentum going

Published March 27, 2021, 4:30 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Two top-contending teams currently on a four-game winning streak collide on Sunday (PHT).

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers were among the teams reportedly involved in trade talks with the Toronto Raptors for prized point guard, NBA champion, and Drake’s BFF Kyle Lowry.

When the smoke cleared, as in the smoke from the respective laptops and mobile phones of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, both Sixers and Clippers reportedly acquired new point guards, not named Kyle Lowry.

The Sixers landed veteran George Hill, who averaged 11.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game in 14 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder, all starts. He’s obviously no Lowry, but (once he returns from injury) Hill can provide that same veteran presence and playoff experience—things the Sixers will need down the stretch.

This is the season the East’s current top team will really be gunning for it. Joel Embiid (once he returns from injury) is on the MVP trail and has a supporting crew that can actually provide substantial support. Tobias Harris, for one, is doing his own version of March Madness, averaging about 23 points per game in 11 games. In that stretch, the Sixers lost only once, a close one in overtime versus the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Clippers, meanwhile, also landed a veteran point guard in Rajon Rondo, who averaged 3.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in a backup role for the Atlanta Hawks. There was a time when Rondo played the Lowry-type, in terms of being a perennial starting point guard for playoff teams. That time isn’t now. Expectedly, Rondo will play backup to Reggie Jackson, who’s coming off a season-high 28-point game.

With Rondo switching to the other LA team, the casualty for the Clippers was Lou Williams, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner. It’s a celebrated homecoming for Williams, who’s a native of Georgia and suited up for the Hawks from 2012 to 2014. What the Clippers lost in Lou Buckets, they will place a bet on another sighting of Playoff Rondo.

The move was purely anticipatory for the Clippers, a team that is also looking for a deep run in the playoffs. In their last 10 games, they’ve won only six, but  have managed to keep its third place ranking in the crazy competitive Western Conference.  

The Sixers and Clippers—both on a four-game winning streak—won’t get to test run their new acquisitions just yet. What the Sixers are doing now is buying time until Embiid returns and unleashing the true potential of Harris. The Clippers, on the other hand, are still keeping it lowkey dangerous with two of the best in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George taking turns dismantling defenses. Former Clippers coach, now Sixers coach Doc Rivers would know a lot about that. Don’t miss this semi-reunion at 10:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines.