With the return of the 2019-20 season on the horizon, the Los Angeles Lakers have been busy preparing to make the trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The Lakers will compete in eight regular-season games to solidify playoff positioning and the 2020 NBA Playoffs will begin shortly after. As things currently stand, Los Angeles would enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and face the Memphis Grizzlies.
Prior to the regular season return, all 22 teams will compete in three scrimmage games in order to get ready for live game action. For the Lakers, they will be playing the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard could not help but quip about his team playing Los Angeles, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic:
Sheppard said when he heard the Wizards were scrimmaging the Lakers before the re-start, "I hoped it was the ’86 Lakers, or an alumni team."
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 7, 2020
The Wizards are one of the few Eastern Conference teams to be invited to the bubble despite having a sub-.500 record at 24-40. The NBA allowed teams who were within six games of the playoffs to participate in the season’s restart.
Washington is currently 5.5 games behind eight-seed Orlando. While their chances of making the playoffs were already slim, the team was dealt a blow when Bradley Beal announced he would not be competing in Orlando due to a shoulder injury.
The All-Star was single-handedly carrying the Wizards, and now it seems as though their time in Disney World will be over as soon as the regular season concludes.
For Los Angeles, however, their matchup with Washington will present a great opportunity to ramp up their level of play as it is their last scheduled scrimmage game before the season resumes. With new faces like Dion Waiters and JR Smith now on the roster, head coach Frank Vogel will also be afforded a chance to get them real minutes in order to prepare them for the postseason.
With a 5.5-game lead over the L.A. Clippers, the Lakers will also be able to use the eight regular season games to reestablish their on-court mentality and get back to their winning ways.
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