The (2-15) Los Angeles Lakers are in the district to face the (7-8) Washington Wizards. Kobe Bryant’s Philly finale, was almost perfect, although the end result of an emotional game, for the black mamba, the Lakers were ineffectual in securing a homecoming win. Los Angeles came up short of expectations, as the Sixers dealt the Lakers an embarrassing defeat, a come from behind 12-point loss to a Sixers team that came into the game on a 28-game losing streak. Continuing the theme of the 2015-16 season, nowhere near the ideal way to start Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour.
After, yet another defeat, that the purple and gold were momentarily competitive in, have traveled 140 miles south on I-95 to the next destination on the road trip, the Verizon Center, in Washington, D.C. to battle the Wizards. There is a tremendous amount of history in the Nations’ Capital, far too much to see in one visit, however, while in town, the Lakers must see the White House, U.S. Capital, Library of Congress, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Upon completion of the history lesson the young Lakers can grab a meal at Marvin, Bad Saint in Columbia Heights, DCity Smokehouse or grab a half-smoke at Meats & Foods in Bloomingdale, Rasika in Penn Quarter, grab a cup of Avgolemono Soup at the Greek Deli in Farragut North or simply visit the Washington landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl. The Lakers lead the All-Time series with Washington 116-69. The Lakers lost the two game season series in 2014-15. The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 over games against the Wizards. Although, the Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games against the Wizards at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards rank 18th in the NBA in scoring (99.1 points per game average), 11th in Assists (22 assists per game), 26th in Rebounding (42 rebounds) and also rank 25th defensively, allowing 103.8 points per game. The Wizards John Wall and Bradley Beal form a potent backcourt, the duo average 36.9 points, 10.6 assists, 8.2 rebounds and 3.44 assists per game. The navy, red, silver and white clad Wizards; fresh off of a huge 97-85 road win in Cleveland, possess a potent young backcourt. John Wall and Bradley Beal erupted for 53 points, 12 rebounds, 16 assists and six steals. The Lakers have to do a solid job of moving, passing and cutting; play physical, aggressive and constantly attack the basket. The key to the purple and gold having success begins and ends with defense. The Lakers must get back in transition, stop the dribble penetration of John Wall, play defense without fouling, limit the Wizards to one shot per possession, do a solid job on the pick and roll play, box their men out, rebound and quickly rotate out to open shooters.
Lakers: D. Russell, J. Clarkson, K. Bryant, J. Randle, R. Hibbert
Wizards: J. Wall, B. Beal, O. Porter, J. Dudley, M. Gortat
Tip-off: 4:00 PM PST
• Los Angeles: TWC Sportsnet (Bill MacDonald & Stu Lantz)
• Washington: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Steve Buckhantz & Phil Chenier)
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
• Washington: WNEW (Dave Johnson & Glenn Consor)
• Gary Neal (Groin) Day-to-Day
• Drew Gooden (Calf) Out
• Nene Hilario (Calf) Out
• Alan Anderson (Ankle) Out