What to expect from 76ers west coast trip

On Sunday, the Philadelphia 76ers travel to California where they take on the Los Angeles Clippers.  They will then head north to visit the Golden State Warriors and finish up against the Utah Jazz. 

The 76ers have had a poor year up until now.  However, the high point of their season so far has to be their first west coast trip which was a little more than a month ago.

On this trip, the 76ers won four out of the five games they played scoring an average of 108 points.  They defeated the Lakers, Nuggets, Kings, and Trail Blazers.

At this time of the season, many 76er fans thought their luck was perhaps changing and the team could have been more competitive than expected.  This was not the case, as the team went into a downward spiral once they returned home.

The month of January has been unfriendly to the team as well as the first week in February.  The team appears to be playing with no fight on their home floor as well as the road.

During this stretch of games since they defeated Portland, the 76ers have lost 15 out of their last 18 games.  They have also lost their past seven home games by an average margin of victory of 13 points.

This is not a good sign as the 76ers fly west playing their worst basketball of the season.  The 14 point home loss against the depleted Lakers roster sums up their entire season so far. 

With these three games coming up, do not expect the 76ers to be competitive in any one of the three.  As a matter of fact, there is a pretty good chance that they will lose each one of them by double digits.

Their first game against the Clippers does not fare well against them at all.  Los Angeles is second in the league in scoring as they average 106.4 points per game while the 76ers let up 110 points a game.

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This is a recipe for failure as the Clippers offense has proven to be tough to stop for any team, let alone the porous 76ers defense.  Also, Chris Paul will be back in the lineup on Sunday night which will only add to the troubles that the 76ers are up against.

To make matters worse, they will take on the Warriors who shoot the ball exceptionally well and love to shoot the three which the 76ers will have no answer for.  Their best chance of pulling out a win would be against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, but they are coming off a win against the defending champions (Miami Heat). 

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There is no real easy way to put it about this upcoming road trip.  As time has progressed, it appears that the 76ers are getting worse and chances are they will not improve in these next three games.

However, this will be a good time for the team to head out to California and clear their heads.  Maybe since they are huge underdogs in these games, they will play more relaxed and could potentially make the games closer than expected.

Even though this is likely to not happen, these games will be a good learning experience for the young players.  They should try to work on a particular aspect of the game that can help them down the stretch.

For instance, make an effort to play hard defense and secure defensive rebounds.  Points will be at a premium for the opposition, so they need to box out their defenders and limit the opponents to second chance points.

This trip should also be beneficial to point guard Michael Carter-Williams.  He will be defending two of the league’s top point guards in Chris Paul and Stephen Curry on consecutive nights. 

In these two nights, he should try to learn as much as he can on how they play the game.  Carter-Williams has a ton of talent that needs work, so evaluating the game of these two can really help him in his development. 

This trip is going to be very difficult for the76ers, but it is important that they do not come out flat.  They need to treat these three games as a learning experience for the future opposed to thinking about the outcomes of the game.

If they are to do that, they may be able to come up and surprise a team.  If not, then expect them to lose heavily in each of the three games.

Read more about Sixers news and opinions on our Philadelphia 76ers page

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