Washington Wizards vs Los Angeles Lakers Preview
Wizards 29-40 vs Lakers 30-40
When: Wednesday, March 19th, at 8:00p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCS Washington, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: The Team 980, WFED 1500 AM/ ESPN LA 710/ KWKW
Wizards: Brad Beal (Out, Left Wrist Surgery)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (Out, Foot), Kendrick Nunn (Out,Knee), Talen Horton Tucker (Out, Ankle), Carmelo Anthony (Out, Illness), Wayne Ellington (Out, Illness)
Keep an eye on:
Lebron james: is self explanatory. Everything LA does starts and for the most part ends with James. James in the Lakers last match-up with Washington on March 12th, had his way, scoring a game high 50 points to lead LA to a 122-109 win. James comes in averaging 29.7 points (3rd in the NBA), 8.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per game on 52 percent shooting from the field, 35 percent shooting from deep and 75 percent shooting from the line. He has been elite offensively. Defensively is where James has had issues and that's an area Washington should look to attack and exploit. James has a defensive rating of 109.9 rating, the lowest of his NBA career. You can have success against him as many teams have shown throughout the season. Look for the Wizards, specifically Kyle Kuzma and Rui Hachimura, to be aggressive in attacking James in hopes of fatiguing him enough to keep him at enough of a sub par level, to pull out a much needed win.
Russell Westbrook: has had his struggles this season, which has been well documented. Still, he's a threat that Washington must account for. Westbrook comes in to tonight's contest fresh off of one of his better games of the season in a 128-123 road win in overtime over the Toronto Raptors. Westbrook finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, which is his 10th triple double this season and the 194th of his career. He also hit a game tying clutch 3-pointer with one second left to send the game into overtime. Westbrook comes into DC hot, confident and eager to get a win over his former team.
Turnovers: will be key tonight. The Lakers are tied with the Warriors for second to worst in the NBA in turnovers, averaging 14.8 giveaways per game. Westbrook (3.8) and James (3.5) combine for a little over seven of the Lakers turnovers. The opportunities to capitalize off LA's turnovers will be there for Washington, although, they will have to be locked in on the defensive end as a team to do so, an area that they have failed to execute at a high level consistently throughout the season.
Defense: Washington comes in 18th in the NBA in points allowed, giving up 111.4 points a game, while the Lakers, allow 113.8 points per game which ranks 26th in the NBA. The first team who plays defense will more than likely win. That is how abysmal both Washington and Los Angeles have been this season on the defensive end, just showing a a stretch of effort could pull out a win.