The LA Lakers head to the country's capital to take on the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on Wednesday. The two teams will meet for the second time this season. Their first encounter went down to the wire. The reigning champions couldn't grab victory despite a 31-point performance by LeBron James.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs Washington Wizards | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 28th, 2021; 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, April 29th; 5:00 AM IST).
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards' remarkable eight-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in their last outing. The game went into overtime and Bradley Beal dropped 45 points on 37 shot attempts. Beal is gunning for the scoring title this season and he is in a close race with the Warriors' Stephen Curry. Washington Wizards rookie Deni Avdija suffered a season-ending ankle injury in their game against Golden State. He is expected to make a full recovery in 12 weeks after being diagnosed with a right fibular hairline fracture.
The Washington Wizards have officially made it to the play-in seeds. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference but are five wins behind the Boston Celtics at the 6th seed. They face a relatively easy schedule from now on and will need to win most of their remaining games to solidify their playoff status. The Washington Wizards take on the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks in the next few games.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Although Beal scores more points, Russell Westbrook's overall production makes him the most valuable member on the Washington Wizards' roster. He leads the team in rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played while also scoring the second-highest. Westbrook is the only player in the league averaging a triple-double with 21.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game. He also has triple-doubles in 15 of his last 18 games.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Russell Westbrook | Shooting Guard - Bradley Beal | Small Forward - Raul Neto | Power Forward - Anthony Gill | Center - Alex Len.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers snapped their three-game losing skid against the Orlando Magic in their last game. The matchup was an excellent chance for Anthony Davis to shake off some of the rust he was facing after being away from NBA action for so long. Davis dropped 18 points on 8-15 shooting and made 1-4 three-pointers in 31 minutes of action on the floor. However, the Lakers' other players won this game for the team. Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Andre Drummond combined for 66 points on remarkable 28-45 shooting.
The LA Lakers now sit at the 5th seed in the Western Conference. If they don't win most of their remaining games, many fear the team will enter the play-in tournament. LeBron James is expected to return soon to give the team a boost. However, the main issue is chemistry. Coach Frank Vogel will struggle to get the LA Lakers to work as a cohesive unit because the team hasn't played together for several games.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis' return was the highlight of 'Laker Nation.' He came out rusty after being away from NBA action for nearly two months. Davis has played only 26 of the 61 total LA Lakers games this season, and he needs to adjust to the system in time for the playoffs. Since his return, he has shot only 7-29 from the field and missed all 7 of his three-point attempts in his first two games. However, Davis redeemed himself in his last outing against Orlando. All eyes are on him and his progression.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder | Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | Small Forward - Kyle Kuzma | Power Forward - Anthony Davis | Center - Andre Drummond.
Lakers vs Wizards Match Prediction
The match could go either way, as both teams have a chance of grabbing a win. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal have been dominating this month and will be extra motivated to grab a win at home after their loss against the Spurs. Meanwhile, the LA Lakers are looking to get back to their winning ways while getting Anthony Davis back to form just in time for the postseason.
Where to watch the Lakers vs Wizards game?
The LA Lakers vs Washington Wizards game will be locally televised on Spectrum SportsNet and nationally broadcast on ESPN. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.