The Los Angeles Lakers failed to add a big name at the trade deadline, but are still in the playoff race in the Western Conference. Philadelphia did make some moves in advance of the trade deadline, and they look like a real threat to win the Eastern Conference. The Sixers will host the Lakers for a Sunday afternoon showdown in Philadelphia.
The 76ers come into this game with a record of 35-20 but have gone 22-6 at home so far this season. Philadelphia is in second place in the Atlantic Division, trailing the Toronto Raptors by five games. Los Angeles got a huge win against the Boston Celtics in their last game, and bring a 28-27 record into this game. The Lakers sit just outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Philadelphia is -8.0 over Los Angeles in this game.
Harris Gives Sixers Another Weapon
The Philadelphia 76ers already had one of the best rosters in the NBA, but the addition of Tobias Harris gives them another scoring threat. Harris was leading the Clippers with more than 21 points per game before the trade and scored 14 in his Sixers debut. Philadelphia is the fourth highest scoring team in the NBA at 115.4 points per game, but that number is likely to rise with Harris now in the mix.
Leading the Sixers charge is All-Star center Joel Embiid. Embiid is averaging 27.2 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season and should have his way against a Lakers team without a great center. Jimmy Butler is also starting to figure out his place on this Sixers team and is pouring in 19 points per game. The Sixers still have some work to do on the defensive end, but they can score with any team in the NBA.
Young Lakers Proving They Belong
The entire Lakers roster besides LeBron James was on the trading block at the beginning of the week, but they all survived. It’s not time for the young Lakers to prove to LeBron and the front office that they belong in Los Angeles. The whole team responded with a terrific 129-128 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. Los Angeles is averaging 112.1 points per game this season, but they are giving up 112.8. This Lakers team should make the playoffs, but they have work to do.
It’s no surprise that LeBron leads the Lakers in nearly every offensive category. “King James” is averaging 27.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, but the Lakers might need him to be more aggressive in games like this. Kyle Kuzma looks like the best young Lakers player, averaging close to 19 points and six rebounds per game. The Lakers have a lot of interesting pieces, but they have yet to prove they can win consistently.
Lakers Battle Sixers To Finish
The Sixers should be able to handle the Lakers at home in this game, but never count LeBron James out. The Lakers stunned the Celtics on Thursday night, and that momentum should carry into this game. I think the 76ers win, but it’s gonna come down to the final possessions. Take the points and bet the Los Angeles Lakers +8.0 over the Philadelphia 76ers.