The Los Angeles Lakers ended their eight-game losing streak with a win
that’s really a loss at this point over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, and once again are staring down the barrel of a tank. The Philadelphia 76ers are in town, and without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel (who was traded to Dallas for a box of Cracker Jacks), this should amount to the smallest of winning streaks for the Lakers.
We’ll see if D’Angelo Russell can turn around another pretty performance after dropping 28 points (a very nice 6-of-9 from three-point range), which is always fun to watch. A locked-in Russell brings back the rush of excitement felt when the Lakers drafted the Ohio State product, and throwing in a few more dashes of that down the final stretch of the year is just fine.
Ivica Zubac should be able to put some work in on the 76ers lack of interior defense, and Zubac’s development over the final weeks of the ‘16-17 season has been a pleasant experience to witness. He had 14 points off the bench against Phoenix and could be in store for a signature game against Philadelphia.
This should also be a good opportunity for Julius Randle to be the Lakers’ battering ram, which is how he’s been incredibly effective throughout the year. Without a defensive wall to force him away, Randle should be crashing to the rim for points or easy assists on kick outs.
Overall this is the kind of game the Lakers should be able to go in and execute a sound game plan in. The 76ers are down and out for the year once again, and there’s absolutely no excuse for the purple and gold to look outmatched Sunday night. We shall see if that’s the case soon enough.
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet