Preview: Lakers head to Washington to face off against the Wizards

The Lakers broke their losing streak in Tuesday’s win and look to continue on the winning path on Thursday. They’ll be playing red-hot Wizards squad that have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games and have won 5 straight.

A big storyline from Tuesday’s win was the D’Angelo Russell and Ivica Zubac tandem. They scored a combined 39 points and could not be stopped in the Pick and Roll.

D’Angelo Russell had one of his best overall games of his career on Tuesday and a fair amount of credit is due to Zubac. He is easily the best screener on the team and averages 5.6 screen assists per 36 minutes. D’Angelo has been praising Zubac constantly and seems to love playing with him. Look out for the duo Thursday.

The Russell and Zubac tandem is starting to become an important part of this team, but both have played well separately too. Zubac is averaging 21/14/2 per 36 minutes in the last three games and only one of them was with Russell. He has been legitimately good and is getting better each game. He has been playing just as many minutes as Mozgov and seems to be playing better than Mozgov. Look out for some more Zubac hype.

D’Angelo is also looking to continue playing well. It won’t be an easy task as he’s going up against John Wall but I bet he’s looking forward to the challenge. He had a great game after coming back from a knee injury as he put up 22/10/7 against the Nuggets and noticeably improved how the offense looked.

D’Angelo Russell came back from his injury in time for Tuesday’s game and the Lakers may be getting back another key player today. Due to pneumonia Julius Randle has been out for the last two games and hasn’t practiced in over a week, but he’s been cleared to play in Thursday’s game by the team doctors. With that said, he may not play despite being cleared. Either way, the fact that he is healthy bodes well for the Lakers. Watch out for a game time announcement for if Randle plays.

Nick Young and Lou Williams have been great this year. They are having career years so far and after cooling down the past two months they’re looking to heat up again right before the trade deadline. They’ll be playing against a tough Wizards team so it won’t be easy but hopefully they can get their stock higher for potential trades.

The Wizards are a good team so it’s hard to see the Lakers flying out of Washington with a win, but the Lakers are finally healthy so I expect them to compete and at least keep the score close. The biggest things to want from this game are veteran players increasing their trade value and young guys developing. This happened in Tuesday’s win so hopefully that process continues Thursday.

The game will air on Spectrum SportsNet at 4:00 PM PST.

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