Washington Wizards 2019-20 Season Preview: Los Angeles Lakers

Washington Wizards Lebron James Troy Brown (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Lebron James Troy Brown (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers are once again the darlings of the NBA. Can the Washington Wizards manage to steal their spotlight?

Washington Wizards record versus Los Angeles Lakers last season: 1-1

Lakers lost: Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, Tyson ChandlerMike Muscala, Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones

Lakers added: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, Danny Green

After a disappointing season by all accounts, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to make a franchise-altering move in the offseason. Considering many people assumed it would happen months earlier, it wasn’t all that surprising.

Regardless, the Lakers made the biggest trade of the offseason when they sent Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. It’s a move that rocked the Western Conference and has the Lakers back amongst the best teams in the NBA.

It’s not Lebron and the kids anymore. Aside from Davis, Los Angeles added a couple of savvy veterans in Jared Dudley and Avery Bradley. And now they have the shooting they lacked a season ago. Last season, the Lakers shot just 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Only the Phoenix Suns shot a lower percentage from three. Danny Green and Quinn Cook should certainly bring that number up. Both have career three-point shooting percentages over 40. With all the attention James and Davis are bound to demand, expect Los Angeles’s shooters to get plenty of open looks this season.

They also added an old “friend” in Dwight Howard. Howards was brought in for his second stint in LA after DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL in August. Howard’s first go-round was a well-publicized disaster. There will certainly be less asked of him this time around, and Howard seems ready for his second shot.

The Wizards will be outmatched against the Lakers, who will have the two best players on the floor in James and Davis. The old adage is ‘the team with the best player wins.’ The team with the two best players? They always win.

But for Wizards fans, these games will be fun for one reason: Revenge.

Wizards to Watch

The words ‘Game Seven’ are often considered the greatest two words in sports. Whether you agree with that or not, I don’t care. But if that’s number one, then ‘Revenge Game’ has to be a close second. And when the Washington Wizards play the Los Angeles Lakers, there will be plenty of opportunities for revenge.

When the Lakers and Pelicans pulled off the blockbuster trade that sent Anthony Davis to his new home in the Hollywood hills, they needed another team to get involved to help make the numbers work. That other team ended up being the Washington Wizards. As a result, Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones are all now on the Wizards’ roster. As of now, Wagner looks like a lock to make the regular-season roster. Bonga is likely, but it’s no guarantee. Jones is the longshot of the three, but his intensity on defense and the boards are just what the Wizards need. Maybe a two-way deal?

It could be only one former Laker from the Davis trade that makes the opening night roster. It could be three. But whichever one(s) are still around when the Lakers come to town will be looking for revenge.

Thomas Bryant spent his rookie season with the Lakers at the end of the bench before blossoming in the nation’s capital last season. Although he’s already faced his former team, Bryant never put on an excellent performance in either of last season’s contests versus LA. This season, we might get one of those ‘miss me?’ performances, although the Lakers’ frontcourt will be a formidable opponent for the 22-year-old.

2019-20 Game Predictions

Friday, November 29 in Los Angeles

The day after Thanksgiving, the Wizards have to take their Turley stuffed selves across the country to Los Angeles. It’ll be the Lakers’ first home game in 10 days. The fans will be in the holiday spirit. The Wizards will suffer from tryptophan and jet lag. Give this one to LA.

Next. Washington Wizards Season Preview: Phoenix Suns. dark

Saturday, March 28 in Washington

This trip to Washington will be the Lakers’ fifth new city during a six-game road trip. It would usually be the type of game you’d expect LeBron use for ‘Load Management,’ but it’s coming after a trip to Cleveland, and Lebon’s had a history of sitting out games against his former teams. So maybe AD gets a rest? Who knows. But somehow, the Wizards pull this one out on a lazy night for the Lakers.