Lakers vs. 76ers: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


The Lakers end their road trip in Philadelphia. They play the 76ers who they beat by 14 points on March 22.

When losing for the lottery was just an abstract idea and then a punchline to a joke, the Lakers organization could pretend the college season was irrelevant. But this past weekend’s NCAA contests put into context what the Lakers season has been moving towards with any luck. Furthermore, it gave the prize of a talented underclassman a tangible look, a form. Do the Lakers want Karl-Anthony Towns who dominated in the post and was a natural fit in the go-to role, or do they want an offensively gifted but defense optional Jahlil Okafor? How about Justise Winslow, the Duke guard who defends, rebounds and scores in the mold of Jimmy Butler?

Those are decisions the Lakers have the luxury of making if they continue on this particular road. They are mad at the coach (Ed Davis), ill with an infection (Jeremy Lin), or just old and no reason to play anymore (Carlos Boozer). Things are wrapping up quite nicely for them.

The Lakers are two games back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the third worst record in the NBA. If they lose tonight, they could slash that lead in half.

More from Lake Show Life

After Monday night’s game in Philly, the Lakers schedule gets worse (or better depending on your perspective). They play the Pelicans; the Pelicans have beaten them three times and two of those losses were by 16 and 17 points. They play the Trailblazers; the Trailblazers have beaten them three times. They play the Clippers twice. Once would be enough, no reason for an advanced education on how far the Clippers have come and the Lakers have fallen. They play the Nuggets in the Mile High City on the second night of a grueling back-to-back. They play the Mavericks who they have not beaten and won’t beat when they play them in two weeks.

The last time the Lakers played the 76ers, their performance was a mystery. They held the 76ers to 36% shooting, not the 46% which is their average. They had 52 rebounds, 8 more than their average. Jeremy Lin had 29 points in 29 minutes (his season average is 11 points in 26 minutes). The 87 points the Lakers allowed were the lowest the Lakers had allowed an opponent since January 13th (Miami Heat).

With 10 games left in the season, the Lakers need to remind everyone who they are. 3rd worst defense. 7th worst three point defense. 6th worst field goal percentage. 5th worst points differential.

8 of their next 10 games should be losses which will translate, on May 19, into a huge, extraordinary Mitch Kupchak/Jim Buss/ Byron Scott win. The Three Amigos all had a creative hand in this ugly mess that may in fact be a beautiful mess on May I9th, the night of the Draft Lottery.

Next: Is Ryan Kelly Part of the Lakers Future?