Wizards Report December 14Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
It will be an occasion. The lone visit of the Los Angeles Lakers to Verizon Center each season always is. The Wizards will try to rise to that occasion and earn their second win in a row at home in as many seasons season against the Lakers.
Last March the Wizards stunned the Lakers by rallying from 15-points down at halftime to secure a 106-101 victory. The winning combination was different for the Wizards. John Wall had an off night and scored only had 4 points. Instead Kevin Seraphin was in the beginning stages of a late season surge and provided 14 points and 9 rebounds.
When the Lakers lost to the Wizards in March their record dropped to 23-16. This season the Lakers would love to be only seven games above .500. Last night the Lakers lost to the Knicks in New York 116-107 and fell to 9-14. It was the Lakers fourth straight loss in a season that has already caused Mike Brown to be replaced by Mike D’Antoni as head coach.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
The Wizards enter tonight’s game against the Lakers with the confidence from a home win earlier this month against the defending champion Miami Heat. Against the Heat the Wizards played by far their best game of the season with 31 assists and only 12 turnovers. Regardless of the Lakers record, the Wizards will need to be efficient like they were against the Heat.
On Wednesday against the Rockets the Wizards were behind 27-17 at the end of the first quarter. It marked the seventh time this season the Wizards had a double-digit deficit to deal with in the opening twelve minutes of the game. Like they have done so many times this season the Wizards rallied to make it close and even take a lead in the second half before losing by six points.
Rookie on the rise:
With 20 points against the Rockets, two shy of his season-high, Bradley Beal has now scored in double figures in six consecutive games. Also worth noting is Beal’s ability to distribute the ball. In the last three games Beal has recorded 16 assists. Head coach Randy Wittman wants Beal to be more aggressive earlier in the shot clock. That is part of the transition to the NBA after playing with a thirty five second shot clock in college basketball.
Kevin Seraphin had a run of six straight games in double figures stopped in New Orleans. Over the last eight games, Seraphin has averaged 7.6 rebounds per-game. The challenge now is for Seraphin to get to the free throw line. Over the last eight games Seraphin has only attempted six free throws.
After going 5 of 6 from the field with 14 points against Golden State, Cartier Martin has cooled off. Against the Hornets and Rockets, Martin combined to go 3 of 16 shooting from the field. Martin would like to get back to his form of last season when over the final 19 games he averaged 9.2 points per-game on 44 percent shooting from the field.
Still the Lakers:
Their 9-14 record has triggered a considerable amount of hand wringing among Lakers observers. Kobe Bryant scored 42 points on Tuesday in a loss to the Cavaliers and is leading the NBA in scoring at 29.3 points per-game. In his first season in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard is averaging a double-double with 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per-game. Injuries have been a part of the Lakers struggles. Point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake are sidelined. Pau Gasol is also injured. Former Washington Wizards captain Antawn Jamison has started five games and is averaging 14.3 points per-game.
The Washington Wizards have moved on to Miami for their Saturday encounter with the Heat. There is little time then for the Wizards to dwell on missed opportunities in a 102-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers that followed a familiar pattern.