Washington Wizards vs LA Lakers Preview
Wizards 10-17 vs Lakers 22-9
When: Monday, February 22nd, at 10p.m.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBCSWA, NBA League Pass / Radio: WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out/ Left ACL Surgery), Ish Smith (Out/ Quad)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (Out/ Strained Achilles), Dennis Schroder (Out/Health and Safety Protocols)
114.0 - points per game
119.1 - points against
45.5 - Field Goal %
111.8 - points per game
105.5 - points against
48.4 - Field Goal %
Keep an eye on: Lebron James: of course! James is having his usual MVP caliber season impacting the game in every aspect. Everything related to the Lakers start with James, He initiates the offense with the same precision of the best point guards the game has seen and he can make you pay by finding teammates for shots or getting the basket himself. Washington will have to be extremely disciplined defensively, especially with rotations or James will be surgical finding teammates for baskets all night long.
Execute Offensively: with efficiency. LA is good defensively, they only allow 105.5 points (2nd in the NBA) per game and they're second in the league in blocks where they send back a little over six shots a game. Now that aspect will be impacted by the loss of Anthony Davis, yet and still, these are the defending champs with a ton of experience to hold down the fort until Davis returns. Washington has one of the better offenses in the league, the league's leading scorer in Brad Beal and is the best in the league at pace. Efficient passing, scoring, movement without the ball and screening is the way you break down LA's defense. It's no easy task but it can be done if Washington doesn't beat themselves with silly shots and turnovers.
Crowd The Paint: is a must tonight. The Lakers rank fourth in the league in field goals at 48.4%. LA gets into the paint often and when they do they score efficiently. Washington will have to do a good job of first, staying between their man and the basket and digging down into the paint with purpose to wall up against any potential drives to the basket. The Lakers shoot 35 percent from deep, which is pretty solid, so allowing scoring inside the paint at a high level will all but guarantee a Wizards loss. Washington has been getting better at accepting the challenge defensively lately. Let's see if it will continue.....