With the trade deadline officially passed, the Philadelphia 76ers are back at it looking to increase their lead in the Eastern Conference.
After a solid (albeit frustrating) win against the Golden State Warriors, the Sixers’ road trip continues tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers. The game won’t be as star-studded as fans would hope, but the game is still just as important for the Sixers as they look to further increase their lead in the East.
Joel Embiid – Out (knee)
Seth Curry – Questionable (ankle)
Danny Green – Questionable (hip)
Joel Embiid is once again out as he attempts to heal from a bone bruise. He will likely continue to sit for another two weeks as the Sixers are going to be patient, so he’s ready for the playoffs. This is made a lot easier considering the Sixers are 5-1 since Embiid went down.
Seth Curry will likely sit tonight also as he attempts to recover from an ankle sprain. Curry has been a bit banged up all year, so much like with Embiid, it makes sense to rest him, so he’s ready to go for the playoffs.
Finally, Danny Green is questionable tonight with a sore left hip. It’s understandable considering how physical the past couple of games were for Philadelphia. Green likely just needs a night off. Don’t buy too much stock in him being traded just because he’s questionable for a game that takes place after the deadline.
The Sixers are heading into tonight’s matchup, potentially missing three starters. It’s not ideal, but you won’t hear the team complain. They still have Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, so it’s not to say the roster is gutted, but they will be rather light, and that’s not including players who will be traded by today’s 3:00 PM deadline.
While the Sixers have their depth issues, the Lakers are somehow even more short-handed.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James – Out (ankle)
Anthony Davis – Out (Achillies)
Marc Gasol – Out (COVID/conditioning)
Jared Dudley – Out (knee)
Injuries are, unfortunately, a part of the game of basketball. You never wish them on anyone; they’re just not good for the game. The Lakers will be without their two stars and their starting center, so certainly no better than the Sixers’ situation. They’re much worse off, in-fact.
The loss of LeBron James needs no explanation. When healthy, LeBron was second only to Joel Embiid in the MVP conversation. The difference he makes night in and night out is incredible. He could bring a team to the Finals all by himself, as seen in 2007, and he may have only gotten better since. Since LeBron’s injury (including the game he got hurt), the Lakers are 0-3, far from encouraging. As much as the loss of LeBron hurts the Lakers, the loss of Anthony Davis is almost as difficult.
Anthony Davis has not played a game since mid-February. The Lakers have struggled a bit, but LeBron James managed to keep them afloat. Without both of their stars, the Lakers look near helpless. It really hurts the game of basketball to have stars like these out for any prolonged amount of time. It works to the Sixers’ benefit tonight, but it’s not the way you want to win a game.
Marc Gasol and Jared Dudley will also miss tonight’s game, further depleting the Lakers’ depth.
Philadelphia 76ers/LA Lakers Tip-Off
Another late start tonight for the Sixers as they tip-off tonight at 10:00 PM. You’ll be able to watch (whatever’s left of) the two rosters on TNT or listen live as always on 97.5 FM The Fanatic.
The Sixers must win this game as they may not be gifted another opportunity such as this.