Lakers vs. 76ers: 2 Keys to Victory

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers take on the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Friday, following a blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

The Purple and Gold have 13 games remaining and hold a half-game lead over the Golden State Warriors for ninth place in the Western Conference. They are 3.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks, the sixth seed.

Every game is pivotal for LakeShow, especially with the standings so close. Let’s break down the two keys to victory for the Lakers on Friday night.

Feed Anthony Davis early and often

Anthony Davis needs to impose his will and dominate tonight against Philadelphia’s bigs. Mo Bamba and Paul Reed are their rotational bigs, while star Joel Embiid is out with an injury.

Bamba has the frame at seven foot to defend Davis but doesn’t have the foot speed or skill to match up.

The other big, Reed, is undersized at six foot nine, which gives Davis a clear advantage. Reed is a solid defender, but Davis should dominate him down low in the post.

Davis is having a great season, averaging 24/12/4 with 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocks. He has excellent shooting splits at 55/27/81. 

Darvin Ham must have the offensive gameplan go through Davis against the 76ers.

Limit Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey is Philadelphia’s best player and top scorer with Embiid out. Maxey is having a phenomenal campaign, averaging 26/4/6 on 45/38/87 shooting splits. 

The 23-year-old guard made it to his first All-Star Game this season with his great play. Maxey can score at all three levels with the ability to create his own shot and space the floor well from three.

The 76ers offense will be disrupted if the Lakers can contain Maxey. 

Austin Reaves or D’Angelo Russell will get the early matchup on Maxey in the starting lineup. While they are not known for their defense, coming out with energy on that end of the floor can help them tremendously.

Point-of-attack defenders Cam Reddish and Max Christie will get increased minutes with Taurean Prince out for personal reasons. Reddish and Christie could be crucial in containing Maxey.

The Purple and Gold need a win streak to surge up the standings. A win over the Sixers would give LA a two-game win streak heading into Sunday, where they take on the Indiana Pacers.

Ham and his staff must prioritize getting the ball to Davis on offense and limiting Maxey on defense.

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