It’s a showdown between the two worst teams from each conference, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.
While the Lakers have lost six consecutive games, the Sixers have tied an NBA worst 0-18 start to the season. The last time a team started 0-18 was the New Jersey Nets during the 2009-2010 season. At home against another struggling team, the Sixers hope to avoid being on the wrong end of NBA history.
Philadelphia has been last in points per game differential at minus-12, last in points per game at 90.8 points, and last in turnovers per game at 17.9. They are also bottom five in assists per game, bottom two in field goal percentage, and bottom six in rebounding.
The Lakers offense has been staggering as well, as they rank last in field goal percentage and bottom four in assists per game. They are also bottom four in opponent points per game, allowing 106 points per contest, and have been second to last in points per game differential at minus-8.9.
This is just a quick glimpse at how awful both these teams have been this season and what to expect from each team heading into this Tuesday night battle.
For the Lakers, this will be the first of a long eight-game road trip which consists of eight games in 11 nights, including three sets of back to backs. The team enters this trip on a seven-game road losing streak with their last road victory coming against the Brooklyn Nets on November 6.
Both the Lakers and Sixers were in action Sunday evening, as L.A. played the Indiana Pacers and Philly played the Memphis Grizzlies.
Against Indiana, the Lakers battled hard, nearly erasing a 13-point fourth quarter deficit, but they were unable to control Paul George who got loose for 39 points. Los Angeles was led by Jordan Clarkson’s efficient play, as the 23-year-old put in 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists on 8 of 15 shooting and zero turnovers. Nick Young poured in 22 points of his own off the bench, including six triples.
But Kobe Bryant’s shooting woes continued, as the 37-year-old veteran had 13 points on 4 of 20 shooting, on the night he officially announced his retirement which will come after the season is over.
However, this game in Philadelphia should be a special one for Bryant since it will be the final game at his home city, the place he played high-school ball.
“It’s going to be beautiful. So much of my game was developed from Philadelphia,” Bryant said.
Meanwhile, the 76ers have had a hoard of injuries to key players this season which has played a significant role in their disappointing start. Sunday against Memphis, Nerlens Noel sat out with knee soreness and is listed questionable for this upcoming contest. Philly was led by the 16 points of Isaiah Canaan, while Robert Covington chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and seven steals.
Covington has been a defensive spark for the Sixers since returning from his knee injury. The 24-year-old has been averaging 7.0 steals over the last three games and has been averaging 3.6 steals for the season.
Last year, the Lakers swept the season series, 2-0, between these two teams, and the last time these two teams clashed, the game went to overtime, where the Lakers escaped with a narrow two-point victory behind Clarkson’s 26 points.
It should be an interesting battle between two of the worst teams in the league, as the Sixers look to avoid a 0-19 start, while the Lakers look to end a seven-game road losing streak.
Tip-off of Sixers versus Lakers will be at 7 pm Eastern Time at the Wells Fargo Center.