Lakers vs 76ers Preview: Battle of the Big Men as Road Trip Continues
Lakers face off against Joel Embiid and the 76ers in tough road trip, hoping to build on Saturday's win.
The Los Angeles Lakers face a significant challenge on Monday afternoon as they head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers, led by reigning MVP Joel Embiid. This game comes after a 121-115 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, marking the start of a four-game road trip for the Lakers.
The Lakers' road record has been less than stellar, with a 3-5 record away from home, making this road trip a crucial test for the team. Despite this, they managed to secure a win in Cleveland, showcasing a strong defensive effort in the second half after allowing the Cavaliers to score 71 points in the first half.
However, the Lakers will once again be shorthanded for their game against the 76ers, with several key players still out due to injury. Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Gabe Vincent are all expected to miss the trip, while Cam Reddish remains questionable with a groin injury. Despite these setbacks, both Anthony Davis and LeBron James are ready to take the floor, with James dealing with a left calf contusion and Davis nursing a left adductor injury.
Facing the 11-5 76ers, who boast an 8-1 home record, presents a formidable challenge for the Lakers. Joel Embiid, averaging 32.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.9 blocks, poses a significant threat, along with rising star Tyrese Maxey, who averages 26.4 points and 6.8 assists. The 76ers also have a strong supporting cast in Tobias Harris, De'Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum, and Robert Covington, acquired in the James Harden trade.
For the Lakers, Anthony Davis will be crucial in defending against Embiid's physical play and ability to draw contact, while Max Christie will have the challenging assignment of guarding Tyrese Maxey. The Lakers will need to rely on their defense to secure a win, especially as their offense has been inconsistent, particularly against teams with winning records.
Key reserves for the Lakers include Austin Reaves, Christian Wood, and Jaxson Hayes, while the 76ers will rely on Robert Covington, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris Sr., and Paul Reed to make an impact off the bench. Overall, the Lakers face a tough test in Philadelphia, but a win in this game would be a significant achievement for the team.