The Los Angeles Lakers will begin a tough stretch of six consecutive games at Staples Center when they take on a depleted Philadelphia 76ers roster that will be without almost their entire starting lineup.
The Lakers are about to embark on their toughest eight-game stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. Luckily, they’ll have seven of those games at Staples Center. Los Angeles will face the 76ers followed by the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, and the Utah Jazz twice in a row. Their only game away from Staples Center will be their first of two matchups against the Jazz.
Hopefully, the purple and gold can start this stretch on the right track against a 76ers team that is missing three starters. Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Josh Richardson will all be out for this game.
Simmons has been out for a decent amount of time but has not yet been re-evaluated. Embiid suffered a shoulder injury and won’t be re-evaluated until later while Richardson suffered a concussion against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers, on the other hand, will not be at full strength. Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso sat out in the team’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Danny Green sat out in the blowout loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and LeBron James missed the win over the Golden State Warriors.
With Caruso not playing, this means they continue the trend of resting players sporadically in an attempt to rest everyone for the 2020 NBA playoffs while still keeping the team competitive. The Lakers still hold a six-game advantage in the loss column with 23 games left on the schedule. While not impossible, it would take a lot for the Lakers to lose the No. 1 seed.
However, with this tough stretch of schedule coming up, the Lakers may want to test their roster at full strength to see how they hold up. They could perhaps even use it to figure out if they need to make any moves prior to the playoffs. They then could continue to load manage when the schedule considerably lightens up at the end of March.
Whatever the Lakers decide to do, playing a 76ers team missing most of their All-Star power should give them a chance to start things off with a good win.
Los Angeles Lakers (46-13) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (37-24)
7:00 P.M. PT, Mar. 3, 2020
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: TNT, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris
Projected 76ers Starting Lineup:
PG: Shake Milton
SG: Matisse Thybulle
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Glenn Robinson III
C: Al Horford
Key Reserves: Alec Burks, Mike Scott, Furkan Korkmaz, Kyle O’Quinn