The surging Washington Wizards (3-0) are in town to face the Lakers (let’s not count) tonight. It is trite to talk about there being no easy nights for rookies in this league, but this will be an extraordinarily tough night for the Laker guards. Recent data would agree. John Wall and Bradley Beal make up one of the most talented backcourts in the NBA.
The Wizards come to LA on a mission to prove that this is their year. Which is a totally different from last year being their year. Essentially, like NASA, they’ve been on a lot of missions to prove things. They enter tonight one of the rare good offenses that is not great at three point shooting. So far this year they are undefeated and looking to stake their claim to the Eastern Conference.
Add to the excitement the most recent Twitter beef between Lonzo Ball and Marcin Gortat. Gortat, who is only a turtleneck and a cat away from being a Bond villain, took exception to a Lavar Ball victory proclamation. Subsequently Laker players have rallied behind Ball. We can only assume that they will be united as a one as they watch John Wall warp to the rim.
John Wall, arguably the fastest guard in the league, finds himself up against a young Laker squad that has trouble keeping the ball in front of them. Without a strong defensive presence at center, tonights game hinges on how well the Lakers can contain the dynamic Wizard guards they face.
While a top offensive team in the league, the Wizards are a bottom half of the league defensively. If the Lakers are going to get a win tonight it will be with efficient transition offense and above average shooting from beyond the arc. No one should expect a dominant defensive performance from the Lakers, but if we can make them work for it and keep it to two point shots we have a chance.
I for one have not bet my child’s entire college fund on a Laker victory tonight. That said, perhaps the most intriguing part to this game is its most ridiculous. Does the infectious, team-first style of play from Ball really inspire the team to play harder? Whether we win or lose the answer to this question may well tell us more about the Lakers moving forward than the final score.