Pre-Game Report: Lakers vs. Wizards

Wizards Projected Starting Line-up

Nov 2, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Laker Girls cheerleaders perform during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center.  Photo via Newscom


PG: John Wall
SG: Kirk Hinrich
SF: Alonzo Gee
PF: Andray Blatche
C: JaVale McGee

Key Reserves: Gilbert Arenas, Yi Jianlian, Nick Young

Tuesday night the Lakers take on the Wizards who are 0-10 on the road.

Frontcourt: It’s a blockparty every night with JaVale McGee who is swatting 2.6 shots per game. McGee is still raw but he’s taken a big step in his development this year and established himself as a formidable post defender. Blatche is the offensive weapon down low for the Wizards, but his defense leaves something to be desired. He hasn’t played up to expectations this year and has resorted to chucking up bad shots (44.1% FG). The return of Yi has given the Wizards more depth, but he plays like a wing player trapped in a seven foot body rather than a power forward.

Backcourt: Make no mistake, this is John Wall’s team. Even though he’s a rookie, he’s the star. He has incredible speed and can get to the basket in a hurry. No doubt, he will give the Lakers’ defenders trouble. At the two, Hinrich is a smart offensive player and an above average defender. Sixth man, Arenas can change the course of a game with his quick scoring. He is dangerous from beyond the arc, averaging 2.3 treys. At the small forward position, Gee starts but he’s been a non factor. Off the bench, Nick Young is a pure scorer who shoots very well. As a unit, the Wizards backcourt is averaging an alarming 6.8 steals per game – hide ya kids, hide ya wife, hide ya husband, cuz they robbing everybody up in here!

Keys to Laker Victory:
The Lakers broke a four game losing streak by getting an easy win against the Queens, but it would be prudent for them to not look ahead to their marquee match-up against the Bulls. Let’s be honest, the Wizards and Clippers suck, but in this league any team can win on any given night. These are exactly the type of trap games that the have given the Lakers trouble in the past.

Fisher and Blake need to keep Wall in front of them and turn him into a jump shooter. Wall scores most of his points within 2-3 feet of the basket; on the other hand, his jump shot is very poor. Another benefit of keeping Wall out of the paint is to limit his superb passing ability.

I expect Gasol and Odom to outplay Blache and McGee. The Renegades should be able to dominate the Wizards’ thin bench. Let’s hope the Lakers don’t make the mistake of taking this game lightly and are able jump out in front early so that Kobe and Gasol can rest on the bench in the fourth.

Laker Injuries: Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff

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