The Washington Wizards are coming off two straight road losses, but they’ll have a chance to begin a turnaround tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers. The game will tip off at 10:30 PM (EST) from the Staples Center.
Key Match Up:
The Lakers have arguably had their worst season in franchise history this year. With Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash sidelined for the majority of the season, Lakers fans haven’t had much to look forward to besides the NBA Draft this summer. Despite the awful year, the Lakers have still had some pleasant surprises, one of them being Jodie Meeks. Meeks is averaging nearly 21 points per game in the last 5 contests, and only one of them resulted in a ‘W’ for the Lakers. Like a few other players on Los Angeles’ roster, Meeks is capable of scoring 20+ points on any given night and has become more than just a knock-down three point shooter during his time with the Lakers.
Bradley Beal will likely be matched up with Meeks and he has to take advantage of his poor defense. Meeks isn’t really known for his play on the defensive side of the floor, and Beal needs to become more aggressive instead of constantly settling for shots on the perimeter. Beal showed some flashes of his ability to get to the basket at will last night against the Portland Trail Blazers and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of opportunities to drive to the basket tonight. Let’s hope he mixes it up a bit more offensively tonight.
- Marcin Gortat missed last night’s game with a strained back and he’s listed as questionable for tonight. The Lakers are missing quite a few players, including Jordan Farmar and Jordan Hill. Nick Young and Steve Nash could possibly return tonight.
- Even though they’ve been miserable defensively this season, the Lakers have still been able to score. They’re 12th in points per game.
- The Lakers have the third worst defensive rating in the NBA.
Washington has to win games they’re supposed to win, especially against shorthanded teams like the Lakers. Marcin Gortat probably won’t play tonight, but injuries aren’t a legitimate excuse at this point in the season. The Lakers are missing virtually every key player on their roster besides Pau Gasol so the playing field is even.
John Wall and Bradley Beal should be able to dominate the opposing guards while Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin won’t have too much trouble controlling the rebounds.
I think the Wizards will sneak by the Lakers tonight. Los Angeles isn’t very talented, but they’re still capable of scoring. It’s a must-win game for the road team.