High Takeaways from Harden, Embiid, 76ers’ Retract vs. Lakers with LeBron James Out

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    Ashley Landis/Connected Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers gave all they would possibly possibly well with out LeBron James on Wednesday evening, however they aloof fell brief in a 126-121 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers

    Joel Embiid used to be prominent but again with 30 sides, 10 rebounds, three steals and three assists. James Harden added 24 sides, seven rebounds and 7 assists as Philadelphia earned its fourth grab in the final 5 video games.

    The 76ers (45-27) are now honest 1.5 video games in the back of the Miami Heat for first station in the Eastern Conference.

    The Lakers (31-42) are heading in the replace path, sitting in ninth in the Western Conference with only a half-sport lead over the Unusual Orleans Pelicans for the final set in the play-in tournament. 

    LeBron used to be out resting his knee, however Russell Westbrook used to be one amongst 4 gamers with no less than 20 sides in the loss. After trailing by as many as 14 sides earlier in the game, Los Angeles minimize the margin down to a single possession in the fourth quarter sooner than falling brief.

    The Lakers aloof have not gained consecutive video games since early January, however the tiring-sport fight showed head coach Frank Vogel and this squad are likely to be no longer giving up on the season. 

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    Matt Slocum/Connected Press

    Joel Embiid is also a top contender to grab his first MVP award this season, however he is no longer carrying the 76ers by himself.

    The middle used to be definitely prominent in Wednesday’s grab, filling up the stat sheet whereas ending with an environment friendly 11-of-19 imprint on the ground. The contributions on each ends helped the 76ers pull out a grab in opposition to a proficient opponent.

    Philadelphia is aloof in a various misfortune from earlier in the season when it gave the impact Embiid predominant a superhuman effort for the crew to grab.

    James Harden has helped select strain off Embiid along with his ability to attain from the perimeter, reaching 20 sides for the ninth time in 12 video games with the Sixers. Even ending 1-of-6 from three-level vary in opposition to the Lakers, opponents are aloof forced to admire the originate air taking pictures, clearing room in the post.

    The squad also continues to gain quality contributions from Tyrese Maxey, who is now averaging 17.5 sides per sport on the year. The second-year guard used to be especially efficient in the fourth quarter, when he scored eight of his 21 sides. 

    With under 5 minutes left, Maxey obtained a bucket and a three-pointer on consecutive possessions to reduction the 76ers amplify their lead from four to 9. These are winning plays and Embiid wasn’t predominant.

    With Maxey, Harden, Tobias Harris and others, Philadelphia sooner or later has the tools to prevail despite the truth that Embiid is no longer playing at his very top. Right here’s how championship teams operate, and it be a immense worth for the crew going forward.

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    Andy Clayton-King/Connected Press

    The Lakers had completely 1 player in the active rotation Wednesday who has a guaranteed contract for 2022-23: Russell Westbrook. 

    The Lakers had completely 1 player in the active rotation Wednesday who must be a priority for 2022-23: Malik Monk.

    Though the crew can back Stanley Johnson and Austin Reeves, two gamers with non-guaranteed salaries next season, it be Monk who continues to provoke after joining the crew on a minimum salary in the offseason.

    The guard is averaging 13.1 sides per sport after scoring 23 off the bench in opposition to Philadelphia. The crew used to be plus-six with Monk on the court, a crew excessive in the 5-level loss. Or no longer it’s been a theme this season, with the Lakers plus-0.5 sides per 100 possession with Monk on the court, per Basketball Reference. Of the 18 gamers with no less than 100 minutes this season, completely Monk and Austin Reeves dangle a explicit imprint. 

    On an rising old roster, the 24-year-light brings childhood and much-predominant athleticism, which he showed with an early dunk after riding previous James Harden and Joel Embiid. 

    His 38.9 p.c originate air taking pictures is also purposeful on a roster that has small shooters.

    If the Lakers can efficiently alternate Westbrook and his $47 million player choice in the offseason, the roster would possibly possibly well be left with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn ($5.3 million player choice), four gamers who were out with injuries.

    Monk showed in their absence that he on the total is a key half of the roster. Though his salary will likely accelerate up in the offseason, he must be a priority in the offseason. 

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