The Los Angeles Lakers take on Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards with a chance to officially eliminate them from the playoffs as they are just one loss away.
The Wizards currently sit 7.5 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. As the Wizards have just eight games left including the Lakers matchup, a loss would eliminate them regardless of any other results.
The Wizards and Lakers have actually had very similar 2018-19 NBA seasons as teams that failed miserably to meet expectations in large part due to injury and are now lottery bound with the year winding down.
The Wizards had to play much of the season without John Wall and although Beal has responded incredibly, they simply haven’t had enough stability to find a rhythm.
There are no words to further describe how much injuries have derailed the Lakers this season. Against the Wizards, Josh Hart will join Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram on the bench as he was listed out for the game.
Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala are both listed as questionable with different foot ailments, while LeBron James is listed as probable with knee and groin issues.
The Lakers have been extremely thin in the rotation for quite some time now, as they have not played with a fully healthy roster since Dec. 25 in their win against the Warriors.
The Lakers, however, are coming off a solid 111-106 win against the Sacramento Kings, snapping a five-game losing streak and putting the Kings closer to the brink of elimination.
While the only reason to play is to try and win, the Lakers have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, meaning wins only hurt their lottery odds. With nine games left to play, the Lakers sit just 3.0 games back of the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery.
Los Angeles Lakers (32-41) vs. Washington Wizards (30-44)
7:30 P.M. PT, Mar. 26, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Alex Caruso, Lance Stephenson, Tyson Chandler, Moritz Wagner
Projected Wizards Starting Lineup:
PG: Tomas Satoransky
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Troy Brown
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Thomas Bryant
Key Reserves: Jabari Parker, Jeff Green, Chasson Randle, Jordan McRae