Updated: 8:28 p.m.
After giving the Clippers all they could handle Sunday, Shake Milton and the Sixers (37-24) stay in L.A. and face another formidable opponent in the Lakers (46-13).
The Sixers will be woefully shorthanded. Already without Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain) and Ben Simmons (nerve impingement in lower back), Josh Richardson will also miss Tuesday’s game. Richardson collided with teammate Alec Burks and suffered a nose contusion Sunday. After the game, it was revealed that Richardson was also diagnosed with a concussion.
Meanwhile, the Lakers come in relatively healthy. Anthony Davis (right knee soreness) will play while guard Alex Caruso (right hamstring soreness) is out.
Here are three storylines to watch:
Hollywood Shake’s encore?
Milton took a national audience by storm with a 39-point performance at Staples Center. He also tied an NBA record, making 13 consecutive threes over the course of three games. The starting point guard with Simmons out, Milton is giving Brett Brown plenty to think about when the team is at full strength.
But what can he do for an encore?
There’s no doubt the Lakers will be much more wary of Milton than the Clippers were. They have multiple veteran guards that will likely be ready to take on the challenge defensively.
To Milton’s credit, it wasn’t just a one-off performance. In the two games prior, Milton had put up 20 and 19 points, respectively. Since taking over for Simmons, Milton has played with poise and shown his ability offensively.
It’ll be interesting to see what he does as one of the focal points of a scouting report.
Need more from big money men
Tobias Harris was solid Sunday, scoring 25 points and helping the team get off to a fast start. Outside of some issues with Montrezl Harrell defensively, Al Horford was mostly decent.
Still, the Sixers need more. Way more.
With Embiid, Simmons and Richardson out, Harris and Horford need to step up, especially on the offensive end.
Harris shot 11 of 21, an efficient shooting line, but took just three shots in the fourth quarter when the game was still very much in reach. He’s proven to be a capable scorer, but with the Sixers so beat up, Harris needs to take games over — especially down the stretch.
We’ve seen the offense fit Horford’s skill set more with Embiid and Simmons out. It’s led to Horford’s assist numbers rising, but his finishing ability and outside shooting are still cause for concern. You could attribute Horford’s early-season struggles to fit, but under these circumstances, there’s no excuse.
Trap game for L.A.?
If you’re looking for a reason for hope in this one, the Lakers will host the NBA-best Bucks in their next game on Friday. That game is followed by a nationally televised matchup Sunday against the Clippers, who’ve already beaten the Lakers twice this season. Perhaps they could overlook the hobbled Sixers Tuesday.
This past Sunday, the Sixers actually gave the Clippers a run for their money. It’s a long season and anything can happen on a given night.
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