Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Lakers Preview
What’s better than Thanksgiving leftovers and turkey sandwiches? Said leftovers with a slate full of NBA action. Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers return home after their four-game road trip. They were perfect on the road trip and still lead the NBA with a 16-2 record. They have won nine straight, tying them with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA’s current longest streak and the hottest team in the league.
The Lakers have been great at home, with an 8-1 record at the Staples Center, and they’ll play host to the Washington Wizards tonight. The Wizards have not been as successful as the Lakers. They are 9th in the Eastern Conference with a 6-10 record. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games, won their last game, but are just 3-6 on the road this season.
This will be the first of two meetings between the Lakers and Wizards this season and the Wizards would love nothing more than to shock the NBA with an unexpected and unlikely win over the Lakers.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: NBA TV
Wizards: CJ Miles, Ian Mahinmi, John Wall (O)
Lakers: Anthony Davis (P), DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley (O)
Washington Wizards Preview Starting Lineup
It’s well known that the Phoenix Suns, aside from being a fun team to watch, also have some firepower and if you aren’t a strong defensive team, you’ll have to be able to keep up with their pace. The Washington Wizards did just that on Wednesday night in a high-scoring affair. They outlasted the Suns 140-132 due to the personnel the Wizards have.
“We’ve got playmakers,” said forward Davis Bertans. “We get in the lane and have shooters, so I think that’s good for us.”
All but one member of the Wizards second unit scored in double figures, and the bench contributed a total of 59 points, led by Ish Smith’s 21 points, and Bertans’ 16 points. Smith has played well since moving to the second unit and Bertans is looking like a different player now that he’s getting consistent minutes in DC as opposed to the fluctuating playing time he received in several years with the San Antonio Spurs.
Bradley Beal once again led the Wizards with 35 points and Thomas Bryant came up big with 23 points and nine rebounds.
The win over the Suns was impressive because Phoenix themselves has no problems finding the bottom of the net, with eight players finishing in double figures. Tonight, however, will pose a step up in the challenge as the Lakers have the offense and the defense to match.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
On Wednesday night, Anthony Davis made his return to New Orleans and was booed often, but it didn’t seem to bother him at all as he racked up 41 points and nine rebounds against his former team.
“He performed unbelievably,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “It was a tough environment, getting booed every time he touched the basketball, playing against a bunch of guys that know him, playing against a coach that knows him. And he put all that stuff aside, blocked out the noise and rose to the challenge and had a great game.”
That doesn’t mean things were easy for Davis and the Lakers. The Pelicans got off to a quick start, scoring 38 first-quarter points and limiting the Lakers to just 25. The Pelicans had a lead into the fourth quarter, but the Lakers rallied and outscored New Orleans by 14 points in the fourth quarter to take the lead and eventual 114-110 win.
LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists as the only other Lakers starter in double figures. One of the luxuries the Lakers have is being able to bring Kyle Kuzma off the bench. They needed him on Wednesday as he chipped in 16 points in just 24 minutes to get the Lakers over the hump.
Anthony Davis is probable for tonight’s game.
Key Player Matchups
Anthony Davis vs. Rui Hachimura
The rookie Hachimura has been impressive in his first year thus far, but he receives his toughest test tonight against Davis. Davis has looked dominant all season, making him an MVP candidate. Hachimura has a height disadvantage, but he’s a strong young power forward and he’s able to defend out on the win and in the paint and has the athleticism and speed to stay in front of Davis. Regardless though, Davis looks good against all-stars, so he has the favorable matchup here.
Bradley Beal vs. Danny Green
Bradley Beal has proven countless times this season that he is capable of putting up big numbers. He’s averaging a career-best 28.9 points per game. Luckily, the Lakers have one of the better perimeter defenders in the league in Danny Green to try to limit him. Green can also get going offensively when needed and knockdown three-point shots. This should be an interesting matchup to watch.
Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal are fantasy studs for tonight’s game. Davis is available for $10k on FanDuel and is projected for 56.91 fantasy points just one game after he scored over 40 points. Bradley Beal is available for $9.4k and has a projection of 47.24 points.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rui Hachimura would also be low-risk value players you may want to add to your lineups.
Bet on Matchup
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