The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is back in Philadelphia, and he's brought the NBA's best bench with him.
Former Sixer Lou Williams and the Clippers (4-3) lead the NBA in bench scoring (56.9 points per game) and plus-minus (plus-5.1). Rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Montrezl Harrell and Luc Mbah a Moute are other key contributors on the Clippers' bench.
Containing Williams and the Clippers' second unit will be a key challenge for the Sixers (4-4), who look to maintain a perfect home record.
• JJ Redick could be a threat to Williams' Sixth Man of the Year crown this season. He leads the NBA in bench scoring, with 18.5 points per game. He's also tied for third in the league in minutes per game off the bench (30.4), an indication of how the Sixers have consistently preferred Redick over Markelle Fultz late in games.
• Redick and Robert Covington have made 54 of the Sixers' 97 three-pointers, and are shooting a combined 40.6 percent from long range.
The rest of the team has been abysmal from long distance, shooting 27.9 percent. Dario Saric continues to struggle after a long summer of international play, with a 23.4 three-point shooting percentage, tied for the worst of any NBA player with at least 35 long distance attempts.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
• Ben Simmons' lack of a jumper continues to be a major storyline, especially after his career-high 11 turnovers Tuesday night in Toronto, where his reluctance to shoot was again a glaring weakness. As our Paul Hudrick pointed out, he's only made 1 of 10 shots from further than 10 feet this season.
• Just about everyone, besides perhaps Joel Embiid, looks short next to backup Clippers big man Boban Marjanovic.
At 7-foot-3, Marjanovic is the tallest player in the NBA and the king of the no-jump dunk.
Below are the essentials for Thursday night's matchup.
Jerryd Bayless, G, 6-3/210, No. 0
** Jonah Bolden, F, 6-10, 220, No. 43
Wilson Chandler, F, 6-9/225, No. 22
Robert Covington, F, 6-9/225, No. 33
Joel Embiid, C, 7-0/260, No. 21
Markelle Fultz, G, 6-4/200, No. 20
* Demetrius Jackson, G, 6-1/200, No. 11
Amir Johnson, F/C, 6-9/240, No. 5
Furkan Korkmaz, G/F, 6-7/185, No. 30
T.J. McConnell, G, 6-2/190, No. 12
* Shake Milton, G, 6-6/205, No. 18
Mike Muscala, F/C, 6-11/240, No. 31
JJ Redick, G 6-4/195, No. 17 13
Dario Saric, F, 6-10/250, No. 9
Landry Shamet, G, 6-5/190, No. 23
Ben Simmons, G/F, 6-10/230, No. 25
Zhaire Smith, G, 6-4/200, No. 8
* Two-way player
** Assigned to Delaware Blue Coats
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