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Philadelphia 76ers

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Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

February 7, 2014 — 4:00 PM (PST)
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN

The Lakers (17-32) finished Wednesday’s game vs. the Cavaliers with only four eligible players on the floor.

Starting with only 8 available players on the floor, F Nick Young suffered a non-displaced fracture of the left patella and a bone bruise, while PG Jordan Farmar insured his lower left leg during the game. They ended up with only four eligible players since C Chris Kaman and C Robert Sacre both fouled out of the game.

Chris Kaman lying down on the bench chairs for a brief moment to take advantage of nobody sitting on the bench and PG Steve Nash changing from his street clothes into his uniform symbolizes the disaster that is the Lakers this season.

Despite all of that, the Lakers finally snapped their 7-game losing streak by defeating the Cavaliers 119-108 by making a franchise record 18 3-pointers.

PG Steve Blake led the way with a triple double, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out 15 assists.

Also, F Shawne Williams returns to the Lakers after the Lakers signed him to a 10-day contract to help contribute from the bench again.

They now seek a 2-game winning streak as they play vs. Philadelphia 76ers (15-35) tonight. As a result of suffering a 3-14 record in the last 17 games, the 76ers currently have the 2nd worst NBA record, finding themselves in the running for the 1st overall pick in this upcoming NBA Draft.

G Evan Turner and rookie PG Michael Carter-Williams lead this struggling 76ers team. Turner, an all-around guard, has played very well statistically this season scoring a career-high 18.2 PPG, while grabbing 6.1 APG and dishing out 3.9 APG. Carter-Williams has regressed after taking the NBA by storm in his first month as an NBA player. He currently scores 17.2 PPG while having 6.8 APG, but he has struggled with his shots, shooting at a dismal 39.8 FG

Projected Starters

PG – Michael Carter-Williams / Steve Nash [Advantage: Lakers]
SG – Evan Turner / Steve Blake [Advantage: 76ers]
SF - James Anderson / Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Lakers]
PF - Thaddeus Young / Ryan Kelly [Advantage: Even]
C – Spencer Hawes / Robert Sacre [Advantage: 76ers]

Notable Bench Players

76ers: F Lavoy Allen, G Tony Wroten, F Hollis Thompson, G Elliot Williams

Lakers: PG Jordan Farmar, PG Kendall Marshall, F Shawne Williams, C Chris Kaman

Bench Advantage: Even

Injury List

76ers: Out-C Arnett Moultrie, SG Jason Richardson,  F Brandon Davies,  C Nerlens Noel

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-C Pau Gasol, Out-G Jodie Meeks, Out-G/F Nick Young, Out-PG Jordan Farmar, GTD-G Steve Blake 

Keys for Lakers Victory

Outscore the 76ers: Laker Nation will double-take the fact that the 76ers can claim themselves as the only team that have actually allowed more PPG than the Lakers this season. Therefore, the Lakers have to take advantage of this situation and score at will, similar to what they did during the first half vs. Cavaliers, which lead to more than a 20 point lead at some points during the 1st half. Everybody know at this point, the Lakers’ defensive situation finds itself in a lost cause, so this would be an opportunity for the Lakers to be aggressive on the offensive end of the floor.

Bottom Line

Both the Lakers and 76ers find themselves in a battle for the NBA Draft lottery position. However, they both still have games to compete in, and the Lakers have to continue to play for the name on the front of their jersey and play to win. Hopefully, the Lakers come out very strong lead by Nash and open up a big lead so they won’t have to suffer from an eventual 76ers run. They should come away with a victory tonight to finally have a winning streak.

Prediction

Lakers: 124-120

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Source: Lakers.com
Source: Lakers.com
Source: Lakers.com

December 29, 2013 — 6:30 PM (PST)
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Los Angeles Lakers (13-17) head back home where they will play 4 consecutive home games starting tonight vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8-21), a team destined for the lottery this season. The Lakers let a very winnable game slip from them Friday vs. Utah Jazz despite great games from G/F Nick Young and C Chris Kaman. Young scored 21 points including 13of his points in the 3rd quarter but fouled out in middle of 4th quarter, which swung the momentum to Jazz’s favor, and Kaman scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as he replaced C Pau Gasol in the starting lineup.

However, the Lakers tonight will play tonight without Gasol due to an upper respiratory infection. To make matters worse, Chris Kaman suffered a sprained ankle during Friday’s game and his availability for tonight’s game is uncertain. The Lakers will have to finish at least 3-1 during this 4-game home stretch since they should defeat these next 4 opponents. They are currently suffering a 4-game losing streak, so getting these victories are very crucial to give themselves an opportunity to make a run at a playoff berth.

Meanwhile, the 76ers basically waived the white flag before the season even began, trading all-star PG Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for C Nerlens Noel, who still is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last January at University of Kentucky. However, the 76ers can definitely still make the playoffs this season in the very abysmal Eastern Conference especially with the play of their rookie PG Michael Carter-Williams. Williams, a 4th overall pick from University of Syracuse, will win the Rookie of the Year award if he stays healthy, averaging 18.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 7.7 APG. The 76ers lost 7 straight games during the beginning of December when Carter-Williams was recovering from a freak bacterial infection in his knee.

UPDATE: Kaman will play tonight (sprained ankle), but C/F Jordan Hill will now start at the Center position.

Projected Starters

PG - Michael-Carter Williams Jordan Farmar [Advantage: 76ers]

SG - Evan Turner / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: 76ers]

SF - Hollis Thompson Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Even]

PF - Thaddeous Young Shawne Williams [Advantage: 76ers]

C - Spencer Hawes Jordan Hill [Advantage: Even]

Notable Bench Players

76ers: G Tony Wroten, James Anderson, Elliot Williams, C/F Lavoy Allen

Lakers: G/F Nick YoungXavier Henry, F Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman

Bench Advantage: Lakers

Keys for Lakers Success

  1. Make Open Shots: The 76ers allow the 3rd highest FG % at 47.1% and the 4th highest 3pt % allowed at 38.3%. If the Lakers shooters, notably G Jodie Meeks, F Shawne Williams, and G Nick Young, can make open shots tonight, the Lakers will come away with an easy win tonight. This matchup is very advantageous for Mike D’Antoni’s fast paced offense since they should have great wide open shots especially on fast breaks. Furthermore, the 76ers have nobody who can protect the basket, so expect the Lakers, especially PG Jordan Farmar, to drive to the basket very often and attack the paint so either he can get a layup or wait until the defense collapses on him so he can kick the ball out to all the Lakers shooters.
  2. Stop Michael Carter-Williams: Since Evan Turner’s ability to play tonight at full strength is uncertain, all 5 defenders have to keep their eye on Carter-Williams. With Carter-Williams on the floor, the 76ers play much better, having a 7-10 record. The Lakers have had a lot of problems keeping guards in front of them on defense, causing big men like Kaman and Gasol to help out, leading to wide-open dunks. Since Farmar is back however, they should not have as much trouble keeping players like Carter-Williams in front of them and contain them.

Bottom Line

This game is a must win for the Lakers. Why? Because the 76ers are one of the few NBA teams that should be an easy win for the Lakers on paper. Although the 76ers have more talent than the Lakers on the starting lineup, the Lakers clearly have a much better chemistry and play better together than the 76ers. Also, PG Jordan Farmar‘s return makes the Lakers’ offense and defense much better since he’s a natural vocal floor leader for the Lakers. Lets hope that the Lakers can come away with a stress-free victory tonight to finally snap their 4-game losing streak.

Prediction

Lakers: 114-97

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