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The Lakers are finally healthy, but they're about to face the wrong team at the wrong time. NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his predictions and picks for Thursday night's marquee matchup on TNT.
ANALYSIS

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Will Philly Keep Rolling As Joel Embiid Takes On the Lake Show?

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

When: Thursday, January 27, 7:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: TNT

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76ers vs. Laker Line Movement

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

Is...Joel Embiid...the frontrunner for MVP?

Let's take a quick look at the NBA MVP race. For most of the season, there were two presumptive favorites: Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. KD is now on the shelf for a considerable period of time and is no longer a legitimate contender. As for Curry, his effective field goal percentage has dipped seventy points from last season. Will voters really reward someone who is having such a subpar season by his own standards?

There are other contenders, but there are cases against them as well. Giannis probably makes the most sense on paper, but he's won it twice before and his Bucks currently have the 9th best record in basketball despite Milwaukee having two more "stars" than Philly. Jokic has a repeat case, and like Embiid, is playing with a roster that is bereft of elite secondary talent.

But if it comes down to those two, will voters have fatigue and feel iffy about giving Jokic a second straight award even though his team didn't perform nearly as well, unfair as that might be? Long story short, Embiid has a case...but he has to keep dominating.

Click Here for Complete NBA MVP Odds

And dominant he has been. Over the last 15 games, in which the Sixers are tied for the most wins in the NBA with 12 and are tied for the second-best net rating at plus 8.9, Embiid has played arguably the best basketball of his career. He's averaged nearly 35 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and a block and a half per game, all while shooting 56 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep. He's also getting to the line a dozen times per game and converting at an 83 percent clip.

Anthony Davis will give it a go against the big guy tonight, but The Process has a 4-1 career record in head-to-head matchups against AD. It's also a national television game, so you know Embiid will be ready. This line is so small because the Sixers will be missing some key rotation pieces in Shake Milton, Danny Green, and Seth Curry, but this game is in Philly, which means Vegas is putting these teams on roughly even ground.

Don't be fooled. Give the points on the road.

76ers vs. Lakers Pick

Article Author

NBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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