Tuesday night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards was a friendly reminder that organizations tank, players and coaches do not. From the very beginning of the game, the Lakers looked like the more talented and more focused team, and Washington did basically nothing to dispute that assessment.
The Lakers led the vast majority of the game and finished with a 124-106 win.
The game would have been played mostly in a late-season slumber but for Lance Stephenson sending Jeff Green into early retirement to wake up Staples Center (and the Lakers):
Jeff Green just kept stumbling all the way to the retirement homepic.twitter.com/qNS2C8hTzj— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 27, 2019
Someone might have to check on Isaac Bonga. (He later got into the game)
Washington’s Bradley Beal definitely put together a nice audition for the Lakers just in case they strike out in free agency. He finished with 32 points, 5 boards and a couple assists. Something to watch with Beal specifically: If he makes an All-NBA team as a result of his play (he very well could), he’d be up for one of those super-max contracts that have forced teams into some awkward situations (See: Wall, John). It’ll be interesting to see how Washington handles that, just in case he gets rewarded for trying valiantly to carry the Wizards in Wall’s absence.
It was nice to check in on former-Laker Thomas Bryant, who has been a fun story in Washington this season after being unceremoniously dumped last summer. He had a fairly quiet game in his Staples Center return, but did have a few plays that highlighted why he is an interesting prospect moving forward.
For the Lakers, they made 10-15 point leads feel like 20-25 point leads for the duration of the game. Leading for less than they necessarily should have has been an issue all season long thanks to the team’s poor three-point shooting, but it didn’t come back to bite them tonight.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continued his strong play, hitting six threes in 12 attempts. He finished the night with 29 points. He’s making a decent case to for some other team to consider him in free agency this summer with his solid production of late.
JaVale McGee also deserves credit for the way he’s continued to play, putting up 20 points and 15 rebounds in his third strong game in a row.
The Lakers are probably pretty happy they were able to get through this game fairly painlessly, as they’ll hop right on a plane tonight to take on the Utah Jazz Wednesday. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 PM PDT.