Just 2.5 games separate the 23rd-ranked Wizards and 21st-ranked Lakers in the standings. A loss to Washington on Tuesday would shrink that gap, giving L.A. a better chance to slide a few spots down in the standings.
A Wizards win would also guarantee that Washington ends the season with at least 31 wins. With the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks on their remaining schedule, they could feasibly end the season with more wins than the Lakers, who have the fifth-hardest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon. These are all good things.
What’s that? You say you’re not a fan of tanking? Don’t worry! The Lakers are so banged up that they don’t have to actively try to lose, they just will.
Josh Hart (knee) has been ruled out for the second consecutive game and there’s a possibility that he has played his last game of the season. Meanwhile, Reggie Bullock (foot) and Mike Muscala (ankle) are questionable after sitting out of Sunday’s game. LeBron James will play after previously being listed on the injury report as probable.
Could James singlehandedly will the Lakers to a win over Washington on Tuesday? Probably, but with playoffs already mathematically out of the question, there’s really no reason for him to do that beyond pleasing the fans that paid money to see him. With no offense to those people, there are bigger things at stake here.
With any luck, Bradley Beal will come out of the locker room looking for a win and put the game away early, sending James to the bench for some much-needed rest.
Luke Walton was asked about the Wizards after shootaround on Tuesday: “Bradley Beal is a monster. Containing him is (top priority).”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 26, 2019
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. PST.