The Los Angeles Lakers look to add to their 10-0 road record as they take face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in the first of a back-to-back.
Coming off of a 46-point performance from LeBron James in a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers aim to take down Philadelphia, who sits on top of the Eastern Conference standings.
The 76ers are led by All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who are averaging 27.7 and 12.8 points per game, respectively. Embiid is having himself a career year and is in position to be at minimum be a top-three MVP candidate.
After back and knee injuries at the end of the 2019-2020 season, Simmons has had a relatively slow start to this campaign. However, he has seemed to catch a rhythm in recent games. Simmons went for 15 points and 11 assists against the Boston Celtics and tallied 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists against the Detroit Pistons.
The 76ers added some key players to their roster over the offseason, bringing in Seth Curry, who ranks second in 3-point percentage; and former Lakers, Danny Green and Dwight Howard. Philadelphia also obtained former L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
The 76ers are 3-2 in their last five games, with back-to-back wins against the Celtics. Philadelphia is averaging 113.7 points per game while holding their opponents to 110.7.
Los Angeles will look for another statement win against a top team in the East after taking down the Milwaukee Bucks last week. The Lakers are now averaging 114.3 points per game while holding their opponents to just 104.5.
The Lakers’ perimeter shooting has been exceptional so far this season. Alex Caruso leads the NBA in 3-point percentage, shooting 54.5% from behind the arc. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can be found just three spots behind Caruso, shooting 50% from deep this season, and LeBron James is also having a career year at 41.2% behind the arc.
The keys to success for the Lakers are controlling the interior and limiting live-ball turnovers. The 76ers have a physical frontcourt with Embiid and Howard, and it will be interesting to see how the Lakers decide to match up.
Philadelphia has an impressive defensive unit in Simmons, Green, Howard and Embiid, so it is important that the Lakers limit their turnovers. Allowing the 76ers to get in transition with a player like Simmons can easily lead to easy points.
Similar to the Bucks game last week, a win against the 76ers holds little weight in the big picture, but another statement victory against a top team in the East will give the Lakers confidence heading into a more difficult February schedule.
Lakers (14-4) vs. 76ers (12-6)
4:30 p.m. PT, January 27, 2021
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Dennis Schröder
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Marc Gasol
Key Reserves: Montrezzl Harrel, Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker, Markieff Morris
Projected 76ers Starting Lineup:
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Seth Curry
SF: Danny Green
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Joel Embiid
Key Reserves: Dwight Howard, Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz
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