The Wizards have sprung to life, and are currently on a 4-game winning run. Russell Westbrook missed out on a triple-double against the Boston Celtics by a single rebound, but has registered one in each of his last three outings.
The LA Lakers, meanwhile, have lost their last two matches, and are missing the services of multiple starters. They have particularly missed the defensive versatility of Anthony Davis, and will look at LeBron James to lead them back to winning ways.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs LA Lakers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2021, 10:00 PM ET (Friday, February 20, 2021, 8:30 AM IST).
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards have struggled throughout the 2020-21 NBA season despite the good form of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
Beal is producing 32.8 points per game along with 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists; he has also contributed with 1.3 steals per game at the other end of the court.
Meanwhile, Westbrook has been unlucky with injuries, but has been in prolific form for the Washington Wizards in recent games. Additionally, the recent improvement in Rui Hachimura’s scoring form means that the Washington Wizards have a fighting chance against the LA Lakers.
Key Player – Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Washington Wizards, registering 37 points and seven rebounds in the win over the Portland Trailblazers. Despite the Washington Wizards’ terrible 2020-21 NBA season thus far, Bradley Beal has been the one constant that has shone despite his team's poor offensive showing.
Apart from registering career-best numbers in multiple categories, Beal has been defensively efficient as well. He will look to lead his side to victory against an LA Lakers side without Anthony Davis.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G - Bradley Beal, G - Russell Westbrook, F - Rui Hachimura, F - Garrison Matthews, C - Moritz Wagner.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers have struggled without Anthony Davis, and have missed him at both ends of the court. The absence of his defensive awareness and the ability to protect the rim has allowed opponents to outscore the Lakers in recent games. Additionally, Dennis Schroder is also expected to miss the Lakers’ next three games owing to the league's safety and health protocols.
Nevertheless, LeBron James will be expected to come to the fore, with Kyle Kuzma also showing better scoring form of late. James almost bagged a triple double, while Kuzma registered 23 points and four rebounds in the LA Lakers' close loss against the Miami Heat.
However, the LA Lakers have lost three of their last four games, and might be up for a tough outing against the Washington Wizards.
Key Player – LeBron James
Lebron James in Anthony Davis’ absence has struggled to lead his side to victories. He is due a monster performance, considering his recent patchy form.
James is the LA Lakers’ strongest MVP contender, producing 25.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.
The Washington Wizards have found form of late, so James' performance might be key for a LA Lakers win.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G - Wesley Matthews, G - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F - LeBron James, F - Kyle Kuzma, C - Marc Gasol
Wizards vs Lakers Match Prediction
Considering the recent form of the Washington Wizards, they will hope to register another victory.
Meanwhile, the LA Lakers have struggled with injuries to starters, Schroder and Anthony Davis, but have enough firepower to pull of a victory. They will go into this game as the marginal favorites despite their recent indifferent form.