Philadelphia 76ers (32-18) vs Los Angeles Lakers (26-24)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 10:30 EST (Staples Center)
Line and Odds: Philadelphia 76ers (-7), Over/Under 229.5
ESPN NBA Pick Los Angeles Lakers vs Philadelphia 76ers
76ers: The 76ers have won 5 out of their last 7 games headed into Staples Center. Their last game was a loss in Denver, which has been a tough place to win all season. They will square off with this short-handed Lakers team that presents a chance for them to get back into the win column. The 76ers have one of the more impressive teams in the resurgent Eastern Conference this season. It helps when you have three players playing at an All-Star level coming in. Joel Embiid has been stellar this season, averaging a cool 27 points per game with 13 rebounds to boot. Embiid is fresh off of being announced as an All Star starter, and deservedly so. Joel Embiid ranks 6th in the entire league but 1st in terms of center scoring. Then he’ll have guard Ben Simmons at the helm. Simmons is their 6’10 point guard, and is arguably the best passer in the league. He ranks 3rd in assists this season. He is an elite passer, with elite weapons. One of those weapons is Jimmy Butler. Butler is returning off of a wrist injury suffered on January 19 against OKC. Before the injury, he was averaging 19 points a night. This is a formidable trio that brings scoring, rebounding, assists, and defense. Their last outing in Denver is one they are looking to forget, as they lost by 16 points. They were extremely short-handed in that game, missing 3 starters, which would be tough circumstances for any team to win under. Now rested and motivated, they will try to right their wrongs in Los Angeles.
Lakers: The Lakers come in looking for their 4th win over their last 7 games. They beat Phoenix last time out, 116 to 102 in a win they probably felt they had to have against the lowly Suns. The Lakers come into tonight’s game still short-handed as Lebron James and Lonzo Ball have been announced as out. Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart are questionable, and even if Los Angeles can get one of them to go, they’ll still be missing 3 out of 4 key rotational players. With James out again, Los Angeles will be missing 27 points per game, 7 assists and 8 rebounds, production no one guy can make up. They haven’t been able to make it up, going 6-10 in the games James has has not played.
Lakers will keep pushing forward with the guys they have ad will look for one of their lottery players, like Ingram, to step up and lead this team in James’s absence. Ingram looked good on Sunday, scoring 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting. He really overmatched his defenders on Sunday with his length and size. Speaking of size, the Lakers got a big help from Ivica Zubac stepping up as well. Zubac put up 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and validated his coach’s decision to start him. The Lakers also got help from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson. Caldwell-Pope had 24 points on 4-of-9 3-pointers and Stephenson scored 11 of his 17 in the fourth. All of this led to a Lakers win. Sometimes you need a community effort from everyone to win when your top scorers are missing.
Philadelphia is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
Philadelphia is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games when playing LA Lakers
Philadelphia is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers:
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of LA Lakers’s last 11 games
LA Lakers is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Philadelphia
LA Lakers is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Prediction: This will be the first time the Lakers get a crack at the All star trio from Philly this season after the blockbuster deal that brought Jimmy Butler to the 76ers. In both matchups last season Embiid went off, averaging 39.5 points, 11 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. Coming off of six days of rest, Embiid may come in ready to eat. Los Angeles does have a quality of defensive centers inside whom they will look to be ready to help when any of their all-star guys inevitably force it to the rim.
The Lakers will ask Ingram to step up again for this one, but it will be tougher than Sunday as Jimmy Butler will look to cancel Ingram any way he can. If the Lakers can get guys like Kuzma and Hart to suit up, there’s a chance to compete offensively at home. But the injuries seem to be too much to overcome for this team to try and beat the team with the 5th most wins in the entire association.