It’s two of the NBA’s most disappointing teams in the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers squaring off from L.A. on Tuesday night with nothing to play for other than pride.
What do the Wizards and Lakers have in common other than the fact that both will miss the playoffs? Most likely the head coaches of each team will be fired after the season. Scott Brooks isn’t a sure-fire goner in Washington, but it would be a surprise if he’s back in 2019-20. Just about everyone agrees it’s a lock that the Lakers don’t bring back Luke Walton, with some reports having the team eyeing former Hall of Fame point guard and ex-Nets and Bucks coach Jason Kidd as his replacement. Kidd is someone LeBron James respects, and what LeBron wants LeBron gets.
Speaking of James, his streak of 13 straight trips to the postseason has officially ended; he last missed at age 20 in 2004-05 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Might not be the worst thing for James’ season to finally end a bit early as he has a ton of miles on that body with all those extra games. Some legends like Karl Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never missed the playoffs in their careers. Michael Jordan never did in Chicago but did in his comeback in Washington. The record for consecutive playoff appearances is 19 by the Utah Jazz’s Malone and his Hall of Fame sidekick, John Stockton.
Lakers vs. Wizards Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Washington looks for the sweep of the season series as it won 128-110 at home on Dec. 16. John Wall had 40 points and 14 assists – he was lost for the season due to injury months ago. Bradley Beal chipped in 25 points and 12 rebounds. James had one of his worst games as a Laker in shooting just 5-for-16 for 13 points. Over the past 30 years, the Lakers have lost just six season series to the Wizards.
The Wizards are 6-2 ATS in their past eight games at the Lakers.
Wizards On Four Game Losing Streak
While the Lakers have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Wizards haven’t yet but it’s very inevitable. This is an atrocious defensive team (116.9 ppg allowed, 29th in league) that enters on a four-game skid. It was 113-108 at home to Miami on Saturday. The Wizards led by as many as 13. Beal has been one bright spot this season as he’s having his best year, averaging 25.9 points, 5.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds. He was a bit off Saturday, shooting 6-for-14 for 16 points.
Bobby Portis had 14 points and 11 rebounds. He and Jabari Parker both have played pretty well since coming over from Chicago in the Otto Porter trade. Trevor Ariza (groin) has missed the past two games. Washington is 6-2 ATS in its past eight after a loss.
Lakers 0-4 Against the Spread in Last 4
Don’t be surprised if the Lakers target Beal in trade this offseason if they can’t land two top free agents to play with LeBron. Washington might be ready for a full teardown rebuild with Wall expected to miss much of next season too. The Lakers ended a five-game losing streak Sunday with a 111-106 win over Sacramento.
LeBron had a triple-double of 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, while Kyle Kuzma had 29 points. Reggie Bullock (foot) sat out. It’s possible LeBron sits this one out because he’s dealing with some minor knee soreness and L.A. plays again Wednesday. James has generally been sitting one half of a back-to-back of late. We’ll assume he’s playing Tuesday for our purposes. L.A. is 0-4 ATS in its past four after a win.