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Washington Wizards vs LA Lakers Prediction: 3 key matchups | NBA Season 2020-21

The Washington Wizards, who are on a 4-game winning streak, take on the LA Lakers next.
The Washington Wizards, who are on a 4-game winning streak, take on the LA Lakers next.
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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The in-form Washington Wizards take on defending NBA champions LA Lakers at the Staples Center in an enticing 2020-21 NBA matchup.

Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook appear to be finally coming together, as they have helped the Washington Wizards win four games on the trot. Beal has been a revelation, while Westbrook is posting triple-doubles for fun.

The LA Lakers, meanwhile, have struggled in the absence of Anthony Davis and will also be without Dennis Schroder against the Washington Wizards.

However, LeBron James, who recently became the third and fastest player to score 35,000 points in the NBA, looks poised for a big performance. He will look to get the stuttering LA Lakers, who have lost three of their four games, get back to winning ways.

Washington Wizards vs LA Lakers Match Prediction: Three key matchups

The Washington Wizards are missing Thomas Bryant and Ish Smith. But they have been better-off injury-wise this season.

Davis Bertans has been impressive off the bench, but the Washington Wizards could face a tall task against the injury-depleted LA Lakers, whom they face next.

On that note, let's take a look at three key matchups that could decide the outcome of the game.

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#1 Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards) vs LeBron James (LA Lakers)

LeBron James is due for a big performance for the LA Lakers.
LeBron James is due for a big performance for the LA Lakers.

LeBron James, a strong MVP contender, is producing impressive numbers - 25.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game - this season. He is also averaging a steal per game and might be required to contribute defensively as well, particularly in the absence of Anthony Davis.

James, who scored 19 points along with nine rebounds and as many assists in his last outing, is expected to come up with a huge performance for the LA Lakers.

Meanwhile, Rui Hachimura has had to step up in the prolonged absence of Thomas Bryant. The 23-year old Japanese international has responded well on both ends of the court for the Washington Wizards.

He is averaging 0.8 steals and 5.5 rebounds per game and has been a constant scoring menace, averaging 13.4 points with a 50.6% accuracy from inside the arc.


#2 Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards) vs Wesley Mathews (LA Lakers)

Russell Westbrook (center)
Russell Westbrook (center)
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Russell Westbrook will be glad to see his side spurt into life after a terrible start to the season.

He has played a huge role in the Washington Wizards’ recent winning run, producing impressive triple-doubles in each of his last three games. Averaging 19.4 points per game, Westbrook could further improve his numbers as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, Wesley Mathews has had to step up for the LA Lakers in the absence of Dennis Schroder. But he will be up against the in-form Russell Westbrook.

Nevertheless, Mathews is a strong defender who can score regular buckets from range and could play a stellar role if the LA Lakers return to winning ways.


#3 Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards) vs Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (LA Lakers)

Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been impressive with his 3-point shooting and defence. But he might have to spend much of the game against the Washington Wizards, focussing on the latter area.

Meanwhile, Bradley Beal has been nothing short of a revelation for the Washington Wizards this season, averaging a whopping 32.9 points per game.

That is in addition to his 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, which are downright incredible numbers.

Nevertheless, KCP could face a tall task against arguably the most prolific scorer in the NBA at the moment. Going by current form, the Washington Wizards could pull off a huge upset against the LA Lakers, who'll be bereft of the services of Anthony Davis.

Published 22 Feb 2021, 02:00 IST
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