After picking up a big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to begin their road trip, the Los Angeles Lakers will look to carry that momentum over to Monday night when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Anthony Davis had a big bounce-back performance after only scoring nine points in the Lakers’ loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Davis led the Lakers with 23 points in the second half, finishing with a season-high 32 to go along with 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks.
Davis will face perhaps his biggest test yet though on Monday night when he’s matched up with the reigning MVP in Joel Embiid. The 76ers have one of the better frontlines in the league with Embiid and Tobias Harris starting and Paul Reed coming off the bench.
The Lakers big man may have some extra motivation when he takes the court on Monday, not just because he’s matched up with the MVP, but also because of some comments from Reed.
At shootaround on Monday morning, Reed called out Davis for flopping and said he needs to make sure he doesn’t get in foul trouble, via Austin Krell of ESPN:
“He’s a big flopper, so make sure that I don’t get in foul trouble early. Can’t be too aggressive with him. You know, he’s gonna be flailing. So, gotta make sure that I stay out of foul trouble.” – Paul Reed on the keys to matching up with Anthony Davis pic.twitter.com/NzTXQsePix
— Austin Krell (@NBAKrell) November 27, 2023
This is a very ironic statement from Reed considering he is teammates with Embiid, who is known to be one of the bigger floppers in the NBA.
Embiid easily leads the NBA in free throw attempts per game at 11.7 while Davis is 24th at 5.9. In fact, Davis and LeBron James combine to shoot 12 free throws per game, so Embiid essentially gets to the line as much as both of the Lakers stars combined.
Reed plays a very minor role for the 76ers at 13.4 minutes per game, so he really doesn’t need to be that worried about foul trouble. It seems that he is trying to get in Davis’ head before the big game, so it will be interesting to see how the latter responds on Monday night as the Lakers go for their second straight win.
Davis looking forward to having home court in In-Season Tournament quarterfinals
Monday’s matchup with the 76ers is not a part of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament, although the Lakers will have a big quarterfinal matchup coming up at the beginning of December.
Because of their undefeated record and plus-74 point differential in group play, the Lakers will have home court advantage for the quarterfinals, which Davis is happy about.
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