The Sixers will be seeking revenge when they hit the floor tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated the Sixers, 101-87, at the Staples Center about a week ago. In that game, the Lakers held the Sixers to a dismal 36 percent from the floor which was their best defensive performance since December of 2013. Offensively, they were led by Jeremy Lin, who contributed a season-high 29 points in the winning effort. As for the Sixers, they have hit a cold spell yet again as they have lost four of their last five since winning two straight from March 18th-20th. Although this game features two of the NBA’s worst four teams, viewers will get to see two quality rookie products, Nerlens Noel of the Sixers and Jordan Clarkson of the Lakers.
The Sixers currently hold the third worst record in the league at 18-56, while the Lakers hold the fourth worst record in the league at 19-53. Now, the Sixers would receive the Lakers first round pick in this year’s draft, which is protected 1-5, if the Lakers finish with a record outside of the bottom five. But with only about 10 games remaining on the schedule, it seems unlikely that their first round pick will be playing in a Sixers uniform next season. This isn’t the worst scenario though, because the Sixers will then have an opportunity to receive the Lakers first round pick in next seasons draft which is 1-3 protected. So as long as the Lakers finish with a record outside of the bottom three next season, there will be a lottery pick coming to Philadelphia in the near future. So, that should explain the draft scenarios and why Philadelphia fans should be perfectly content with a Lakers win tonight, because although it’s unlikely, there’s still a slight chance the Sixers could get this year’s pick from Los Angeles.
At the beginning of the season, everyone thought Julius Randle would be the Lakers standout rookie player and a potential candidate for rookie of the year. But with an early season injury forcing him to sit the rest of the year, second round pick Jordan Clarkson has made headlines and has turned heads around the league. Clarkson, originally drafted by Washington at number 46 overall, was traded to the Lakers and has averaged 14.5 points per game since being inserted into the Lakers starting lineup on January 23rd and has averaged 20.5 points per game over his last four appearances. This kid can play and he’ll be a problem for the Sixers defense tonight if they let him fly free.
You can’t sit here and say the Sixers star this year hasn’t been Nelens Noel. This dude is a double-double machine and has averaged 16.5 points per game to go along with 12.5 rebounds per game over the course of the Sixers past four games. He has carried this team through the toughest of times throughout the duration of this season and has become a leader in the locker room. Everyone said he had no offensive game coming out of the draft, but hey, I think Brett Brown will take 16.5 a night from his rookie center. His offensive game has gradually improved and now we are beginning to see the results, leading us fans to believe Sam Hinkie hit the jack-pot with this pick.
- The league's third-worst record will have a 15.6 percent chance at earning the top pick at the NBA draft lottery, while the fourth-worst record will have an 11.9 percent chance. Keep that in mind.
- The Lakers are 1-33 when allowing the opposition shoots 47 percent or better.
- The Sixers shot just 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from the line yesterday versus Cleveland. That was the difference in the 87-86 loss. They’re also shooting a league-low, 67.2 percent, form the charity stripe.
- The Lakers out rebounded the Sixers 52-39 and had six players grab at least five boards in their last matchup.
- The Sixers have lost their last two games against the Lakers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Jason Richardson (rest) is expected to play in the second game of a back-to-back set for the Sixers. Joel Embiid (foot) and Tony Wroten (knee) are out indefinitely.
Jeremy Lin (upper respiratory infection), who had a season-high 29 points against the Sixers in the first meeting, missed Sunday’s game and is day to day. Carlos Boozer (rest) hasn’t played in the Lakers’ last four games. Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Nick Young (knee) and Julius Randle (leg) are out indefinitely.
PG- Ish Smith
SG- JaKarr Sampson
SF- Robert Covington
PF- Jerami Grant
C- Nerlens Noel
PG- Jeremy Lin
SG- Jordan Clarkson
SF- Wesley Johnson
PF- Ryan Kelly
C- Tarik Black
Game Prediction: Sixers fans should want the Lakers to win this game just so they move that much closer to getting out of the bottom five, although it’s nearly impossible at this point of the season. Sixers will fight in this one but I believe the Lakers will get their third consecutive win at the Wells Fargo Center, 100-96.