Monday afternoon features a test for the Los Angeles Lakers heading to Philadelphia to take on reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the 76ers.
The Lakers kicked off their four-game road trip in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Saturday and LeBron James’ return to Ohio resulted in a 121-115 win. After allowing the Cavs to score 71 in the first half, the second half featured a strong defensive effort from the Lakers only allowing 44 points.
This road trip was going to be a test for the Lakers as they have struggled thus far away from Crypto.com Arena. After Monday’s win, L.A. is now 3-5 on the road and looking to win two straight as they head to Philadelphia.
However, this will be another shorthanded effort for the Lakers as no reinforcements are on the way yet. Rui Hachimura is still out and expected to miss the trip with a nasal fracture, while Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent remain out as well. Cam Reddish was listed questionable again with a groin injury but is not quite ready to return, missing his third straight game.
Same drill for both Anthony Davis and LeBron James, as they are both ready to take the floor. James is continuing to deal with his left calf contusion and Davis dealing with his left adductor injury but both are good to go in this one.
The 76ers enter Monday with an 11-5 record, 8-1 at home, so it would be a massive win for the Lakers to pick up a road win of this magnitude. Philadelphia has the reigning MVP in Embiid, who is averaging 32.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.9 blocks, plus rising star Tyrese Maxey, averaging 26.4 points and 6.8 assists.
Philly also has a solid supporting cast in Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton, who hurt the Lakers on their last visit to Philly, as well as Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington, who were acquired in the James Harden trade. Maxey and Embiid will get their numbers but it will be a long night for L.A. if the role players get going.
Davis is having a strong start to the season defensively, averaging 2.9 blocks and 1.1 steals. He is going to be tested with Embiid by his physical play and ability to draw contact and get to the free throw line. Max Christie will draw another start with Reddish out, making him the primary defender on Maxey, another challenging assignment for the second-year guard.
The purple and gold are going to have to rely on their defense to carry them to a win tonight as their offense continues to be up and down. L.A. has struggled against teams above .500, but to pull one out today would be monumental.
Los Angeles Lakers (10-7) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (11-5)
4:00 p.m. PT, Nov. 27, 2023
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers starting lineup:
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Max Christie
SF: Taurean Prince
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Austin Reaves, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes
Projected 76ers starting lineup:
PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: De’Anthony Melton
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Joel Embiid
Key Reserves: Robert Covington, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris Sr., Paul Reed
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