Normally, a matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers would be a primetime game, but not on Tuesday night. Both the Sixers and Lakers have been hit by the injury bug of late, and several key players could be missing. Philadelphia should be getting some of their stars back, but the Lakers will be without their leader, LeBron James, for this game.
The Lakers are coming off of a 116-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns, but things have not been going well for them of late. Los Angeles has lost five of their last eight games, and are clinging to a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Lakers come into this game with a record of 26-24. Philadelphia lost their last time out, but are still winners of five of their last seven. The Sixers bring a 32-18 record into this matchup and are near the top of the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is -6.0 over Los Angeles in this game.
Lakers Desperately Missing LeBron
The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the surprise teams in the NBA before Christmas, but they have struggled without LeBron James since that date. The Lakers have gone 6-10 without LeBron on the floor this season, and they need their leader back. James was leading the team with 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists this season before injuring his groin. Los Angeles does have plenty of talented young players on the roster, but there is just no way that the Lakers can replace this kind of production no matter how well they play.
Head coach Luke Walton has been frustrated with his team’s defensive play all season long, and the Lakers have given up close to 112 points per game. Veteran center JaVale McGee is averaging better than two blocks per game, but the young Lakers haven’t figured out how to defend at a high level yet. Power forward Kyle Kuzma has started to show some signs of stardom of late and is scoring better than 19 points per game. The Lakers have some nice pieces, but they need their leader to return to the court soon.
Embiid and Butler to Return
Philadelphia was without Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler in their loss to the Denver Nuggets, but both players are expected to be back for this game. Butler is dealing with a sprained wrist, and Embiid was held out of the Denver game just to give him some rest. With these two players on the floor, the Sixers are one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA, putting up close to 116 points per game. Philly also shares the ball really well, dishing out 27.5 assists per game this season. The Sixers offense will be a handful for the young Lakers defense.
Joel Embiid has been one of the best centers in the NBA for awhile now, but this is by far his best season. The big man is averaging 27.2 points and 13.3 rebounds this season and is capable of carrying the Sixers offense on most nights. Last year’s Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons, is dishing out a team-high 8.2 assists, while also putting up 16.6 points per game. Philadelphia has several talented young pieces, but they also have the capability to win it all this season.
Sixers Roll in LA
The Lakers are extremely banged up at this point of the season, and they really don’t stand much of a chance in this game. The Sixers are set to get their two biggest stars back on Tuesday night, and they should blow out the Lakers in this game. Philadelphia is one of the best teams in the NBA, and they will show why in this game. Bet the Sixers -6.0 over the Lakers on Tuesday night.