Lakers face test against elite guards in clash with Wizards

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Brandon Ingram (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Brandon Ingram (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Lakers have played three games so far this season and stand at 1-2. On Wednesday night they’ll welcome John Wall and the Washington Wizards to Staples Center for a nationally televised matchup.

The Lakers should be gearing up for a tough test against a Washington Wizards team that finished last season fourth in the Eastern Conference at 49-33. The Wizards dispatched the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs before coming up short in a thrilling seven-game series against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

This season’s version of the Wizards is largely unchanged from last year, as they were able to retain the services of small forward Otto Porter Jr. in free agency to keep their core intact. in tandem with Porter, John Wall and Bradley Beal form one of the most dangerous backcourt duos in the entire NBA.

All-Star point guard John Wall was in the Lakers news this summer with his criticism of comments made by Lonzo Ball’s father LaVar, and how this could effect Lonzo’s reception into the league. On the Wizards Tipoff podcast, Wall said “I think [Lonzo’s] dad has put him in a situation where guys are going to target him.”

There is no doubt that this matchup will be something to watch on Wednesday night, as Wall could be out to make a point that LaVar’s high expectations for his son are not realistic. Wall’s teammate center Marcin Gortat chimed in on the debate on Twitter this week, saying that Wall will “torture” Ball for 48 minutes.

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It’s clear that  Lakers team that has already struggled mightily defensively will have their hands full trying to defend Wall and Beal. However, one department where the Lakers could have the advantage is in the rebounding department.

So far this season, the Lakers are averaging three more rebounds per game than the Wizards, and much of this can be attributed to the Wizards lack of a true power forward on their roster. They have been experimenting with Jason Smith, Otto Porter Jr., and Kelly Oubre at the position, but have still yet to figure out this part of the rotation.

The Lakers boast a talented group of power forwards that include Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, and Kyle Kuzma. These three will be the key to Wednesday’s game, as all three should be matchup nightmares defensively for the Wizards.

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Overall we should expect an up and down, fast-paced game from these two clubs, and it’ll be a pleasure to watch the Lakers in their second national television appearance this season.