2021-02-23
Washington Wizards
Los Angeles Lakers
League : NBA

Los Angeles Lakers vs Washington Wizards Prediction & Preview



 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers face the Washington Wizards in Monday night NBA action from Staples Center in Los Angeles. Currently, the Lakers are favored by 6.5-points, down from 7 at the opening, while the total sits at 226 points, up from 225.5-points.

The Wizards have really heated up as of late picking up their 4th-straight win in the 1st of a 4-game road trip versus the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night in a back and forth affair. However, despite allowing 19 treys in the contest, Washington was able to get huge performances from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, who recorded a triple-double. The Wizards have also been red-hot against the number during their 4-game win stretch covering in each, including a 4.5-point dogs versus Portland.

The Lakers are struggling a bit dropping 3 of their last 4 with their most recent being a 2-point home loss to the Miami Heat Saturday night. The shorthanded squad mustered only 94 points on 39% shooting (29% 3FG) as Lebron James posted 19 points, yet, had 5 turnovers while going a dismal 7-21 from the floor (1-8 from deep). Since the loss of Anthony Davis 4-games ago due to a calf injury, the Lakers offense is averaging only 98 points per. They have also been horrible against the spread holding a record of 2-6 in their last 8, overall.

Surprisingly, the Wizards have won 6 of the last 10 versus the Lakers, including picking up outright wins in 3 of 6 on the road. However, the Lakers enter this game not only winning 3-straight at home versus the Wizards, but have covered in 4 of their last 6 home meetings.

Beal continuing to show his value to Wizards

Despite having just 9 wins on the season, one cannot say that Beal has not put in max effort in his 25 games played in a Wizards uniform posting over 30 points per game. Most amazing is that he continues to shoot just under 48% in 2020-21. And while Westbrook is just as critical to the Wizards offensive attack, I happen to believe that Beal has been able to put the team on his back multiple times this year putting up some of the best numbers of his career.

 

"Yeah I'm putting up numbers, I'm giving my effort, I'm giving my all, but I feel like I can still do more. I can be more consistent. But there's a lot more I can do out there and I don't think I've tapped into that yet," he said to Yahoo Sports. "It's a challenge in all realms and you know I love a challenge."

It was certainly a challenge for Beal and company in their last matchup versus the Lakers at Staples Center in 2019 with the star going just 5-13 from the floor while missing 5 of 7 3-point shots. On the other hand, both James and Davis recorded double-doubles while the Wizards allowed over 50% shooting in the 22-point road loss.

Lebron seeks to atone for off-night

With Davis out of the line for some time to come, the Lakers will certainly need role players such as Kenativous Caldwell-PopeKyle Kuzma, along with Montrezl Harrell off the bench to make up for lost offensive production. Of course, Dennis Schroder will also be a critical piece at point guard; However, getting him suited up and on the court has been the issue with the guard having missed the last 2 games with an illness with no timetable as to his return.

 

But no will offer excuses for their lackluster play in their last 4 outings. In fact, I feel as though James used the correct term (adjust) when speaking about the team current woes. "I think that's what it all boils down to, and right now is another challenge for me, to be able to adjust," James said to ESPN.com. "Not having AD for a long period of time is something that we haven't had over the last year and a half, and now it's time for me to adjust again and see ways I can be even more effective to help this team win ballgames.

Despite 6 turnovers in their last meeting versus Washington, James had 23 points and 11 dimes while going 4-8 from deep. On the other hand, Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope combined to go 4-13 FG while missing 3 attempts from long-range for 4 points each.






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