Lakers star LeBron James mentioned he has not been shocked by the 76ers, who loom as a critical NBA contender within the Japanese Convention.
James skilled the 76ers first hand Sunday — the Lakers outclassed in a 143-120 defeat at Wells Fargo Middle in Philadelphia.
Already boasting All-Star duo Joel Embiid (37 factors, 14 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (eight factors), in addition to Jimmy Butler (15 factors) and JJ Redick (21 factors), the 76ers are actually seen as real championship challengers after buying Tobias Harris (22 factors) in a blockbuster commerce from the Clippers earlier than Thursday’s deadline.
Mike Scott, Boban Marjanovic, Jonathon Simmons and James Ennis had been additionally introduced in to strengthen Philadelphia’s depth.
Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James went off, however the Lakers could not get sufficient stops on the opposite aspect of the ground.https://t.co/QG9If7WgBF
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 11, 2019
After the 76ers improved to 36-20 within the Japanese Convention, James — who was pursued by Philadelphia earlier than he joined the Lakers within the offseason — informed reporters: “I assumed they had been going to be superb anyway earlier than they made any strikes, earlier than the season even began.
“And so they’ve made a bunch of strikes to enhance their membership.”
Lakers president Magic Johnson was in attendance and the Corridor of Famer had a message for the east.
“The East higher be careful,” Johnson mentioned. “It is a stacked workforce.”
Kyle Kuzma starred for the Lakers on the highway, posting 39 factors — 23 of these coming within the first quarter.
Kyle Kuzma got here out on fireplace early at present, dropping 23 of his 39 factors within the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/JX5fPFtt88
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 10, 2019
James, in the meantime, completed with 18 factors, 10 rebounds and 9 assists because the Lakers dropped to 28-28. They’re 10th within the Western Convention and two and a half video games outdoors the playoff spots.
“We had too many breakdowns,” James mentioned. “Means too many breakdowns. I imply we scored the ball in addition to you may rating the ball, particularly in that first quarter, however we gave up too many paint factors.
“We didn’t maintain the ground shrunk and make them make many outdoors jumpers to start the sport, and as soon as they began attending to the paint it type of opened up every little thing else.”