5 essential keys to the Wizards' West Coast road trip

As the Washington Wizards head out to the West Coast, we take a look at five key areas they will need to focus on in order to secure wins on the road.
Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
4 of 5

Playing lockdown defense

Statistically, the Washington Wizards are allowing the most points per game in the NBA at 124 points per night. In their previous matchup, the Clippers hit right on the mark at 125 points, while the Wizards will be facing the Lakers for the first time this season. Both high-scoring offenses, the Wizards will need to play some of the best defense they have all year.

How will they get it done? Efficiency.

Jared Butler is coming off a great defensive performance against Cleveland's star Donovan Mitchell, holding him to only 19 points on the night. A big key to capturing these wins on the road will be locking down the paint. It is imperative that the Wizards' time management with Marvin Bagley III lines up with the usage of Zubac and Davis, as the Wizards lack other options to guard the dominant big men.

Additionally, the Wizards will be managing the big three of Paul George, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard. The rotation will need to be tight while fighting through the battle, not allowing mismatches when possible and playing tight defense on the relentless Clippers offense.

The Lakers will pose an easier matchup for the Wizards, although that is not to say it will be an easy game. The Lakers sit in the top half of the league in points per game at 116, just above the Wizards' average of 114. LeBron James will be key in the outcome of the game, and this will put all eyes on Kyle Kuzma. Last week in the Wizards' matchup against the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, Kuzma came away with 3 steals, making his presence known on the court.

Wizards who need monster second halves. These Wizards need a monster second half to save their job... dark. Next