Pre-Game Report: Lakers vs. 76ers

76ers Projected Starting Line-up

Washington Wizards' Nick Young as the ball stripped by Los Angeles Lakers Shannon Brown during the second quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington on December 14, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Elton Brand
C: Spencer Hawes

Key Reserves: Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner

In the City of Brotherly Love the Lakers take on the 76ers on the home stretch of their seven game road trip.

Frontcourt: Brand is the focal point of the 76ers offense. He has veteran post skills that overshadow his diminishing athleticism and has been scoring with regularity (51.4% FGs). At center, Hawes is a big body, but hasn’t really made use of it and has been underwhelming this season. Battie and Speights provide relief off the bench, but do not contribute much in terms of offense or defense.

Backcourt: The 76ers guards are not a very good shooting group (Williams 36.4%, Turner 41.2%, Holiday 42.5%, Iguodala 42.8%) which is why sharp shooter Meeks was recently inserted into the starting lineup. Holiday has had a semi-break-out year and is a solid presence at the point. Iguodala has freakish jumping abilities and is an all around player who can dish, rebound, defend and score. Off the pine, Young has been very efficient with his scoring in limited minutes. Williams is a savvy veteran who can get to the line with regularity and knock down the freebies.

Keys to Laker Victory:
The 76ers are very thin up front and now that Bynum is back the Lakers have one of the best frontlines in the league. Expect Gasol, Bynum, and Odom to easily dominate the 76ers bigs.

Although Kobe is arguably one of the best players in the league, Gasol is really the cog of the Lakers triangle offense. Since Gasol has been able to rest it’s no surprise that the Lakers are playing some of their best basketball.

It was refreshing to watch Lakers finally win a third quarter against the Wizards. Let’s hope some of that intensity carries into tonight’s cupcake match-up. If the Lakers play as they’ve been playing these past few games they should easily dispatch the 76ers.

Laker Injuries: Theo Ratliff

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