Los Angeles Lakers Stat Monkey Brief: Lakers/Sixers (12/16/12)
If you're looking for the Sixers O and Lakers D perspective on this game, go to Brett Weisband's piece here: Philadelphia 76ers Stat Brief
Lakers O vs. Sixers D
In dissecting the Lakers’ offense against the Sixers’ Defense, LA should have a distinct advantage, especially on the interior. Without Andrew Bynum manning the paint, no player on the Sixers ranks in the top 20 in the NBA in rebounds or blocks per game. In fact, Evan Turner, a guard-forward, leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 per game, and that’s good for only 43rd best in the league.
However, one thing you can’t ignore is Doug Collins-coached teams are typically tough defensively. It’s not about any one player, rather the team philosophy on defense. If the Lakers wish to win Sunday night in Philadelphia, they’ll need to play efficient, turnover-free offensive basketball to outlast a stingy Philly D.
Doug Collins has earned the reputation of a tough-minded defensive coach, and he’s transcended that mindset on the 2012-2013 76ers squad. Led by Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday, the Sixers are keen on forcing turnovers - ranking ninth in the NBA in turnover percentage. And even without any intimidating presence on the interior (Bynum is still out indefinitely due to a bowling fiasco), Philly only gives up roughly 94 points per game, which is good for the league’s eighth best mark.
Despite the effectiveness of the Sixers’ defense, the Lakers should be able to assert themselves on the offensive end. Philly likes to slow the pace down, ranking 27th of 30 teams in pace factor, and that should play right into the Lakers hands as they will try to wear down the Sixers in the paint.
Surprisingly, the Sixers only give up a fourth best 37.7 points per game in the paint, but the Lakers are also the league’s second free throw factor (FT/FGA) at .264. If Dwight Howard can be a force from the beginning, and take a bit of pressure off Kobe Bryant (915 minutes played on the year), the Lakers should give the Sixers a battle on the road.