The Los Angeles Lakers finished their regular season series against the Washington Wizards on November 9. The Lakers lost the final game splitting the series at 1-1.
Game two took place in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., at the Capital One Arena. The Wizards made their run in the second quarter outscoring the Lakers 32-22. They were able to hold on to their lead for the remainder of the game. Beyond the Wizards’ surge in the second quarter, the Lakers played well. They were able to secure more rebounds, limit fouls, and convert Wizards’ turnovers into points.
Lonzo Ball recorded 10 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists for the Lakers. His shooting woes continued as he shot 25% from the field. His team would also struggle scoring the basketball, shooting 13% from the three-point line. They currently rank last in the NBA at 29%. Wizards’ guard, John Wall, finished with a game high 23 points.
The initial game of the series was also a close competition. The Lakers survived the overtime thriller winning 102-99 at home. Brandon Ingram sparked a rally for the team scoring 15 points in the second half. A clutch three in overtime by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope secured the victory for Los Angeles.
The team’s performance in their series against the Wizards displayed their strengths and weaknesses. Shooting from beyond the arc was the Lakers biggest problem. In the two games played, they made 10 shots on 53 attempts. Their opponents shot a combined 13-47. This will have to improve if the Lakers expect to compete for a playoff spot this season. The top shooting teams in the NBA average close to 10 threes per game.
Defending the duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall was also an issue for the Lakers. The team’s defense allowed Beal to score 28 points in the first matchup. He then went on to score 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the series finale. Wall struggled from the field shooting a combined 15-40. He was able to score at least 15 points in both outings. The battle at the guard position will become tougher as the season progresses. Lakers guards will have to face perennial All-Stars such as James Harden and Steph Curry who can score in a multitude of ways. They will need to develop a defensive scheme that can answer to elite guard play.
The Lakers were most impressive in their rebounding efforts. They were able to out-rebound the Wizards by six in both contests. They excelled by having a balanced attack on the glass. When each player makes it a priority to get after missed shots there will be more opportunities to score. Julius Randle was the most efficient securing a total of 18 rebounds against the Wizards this season.
The season series against the Washington Wizards was evenly matched. The Lakers will need to improve their shooting to play well against future competition. The Lakers’ success will also depend on the ability of their young prospects to show their star potential.
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