(Photo By: Tim Bradbury)
Lakers at Wizards: 3 Things to Know (11/9/17)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers continue their road trip by visiting the Washington Wizards.
1) Clarkson is an early Sixth Man of the Year Candidate
Jordan Clarkson started the season by saying he wants to win Sixth Man of the Year, and he’s off to a pretty solid start.
The 25-year-old is putting up the NBA’s second-most points off the bench (15.4) and has failed to score double figures just once this year.
But perhaps the most impressive part of Clarkson’s game has been his efficiency.
Having shot about 44 percent for the first three seasons of his career, Clarkson is now hitting 51.2 percent of his looks — second-best among the league’s point guards.
And it’s not like he’s only taking shots at the rim. In fact, he has hit a flaming 11-of-16 on his favorite shot: the pull-up jumper.
Clarkson has also done more than just score. He has competed defensively and, as the team’s de facto backup point guard, has at least four assists in more than half his games.
2) Washington is looking for vengeance
Two weeks ago the Wizards marched into STAPLES Center and left with a loss on their previously perfect record. Before that game, they were 3-0. Since, they are 2-5.
Brandon Ingram was the key to that victory, as the Lakers trailed by 10 with seven minutes left before he scored nine points down the stretch, including an overtime-forcing put-back.
Ingram has been on an upward trajectory since that game, hitting double-digit scoring in six straight, including 18 points in Wednesday’s loss in Boston.
The Lakers will need all the firepower they can get in this rematch with Washington, which is hanging up the NBA’s third-most points per game (111.4).
But the Wizards also surrender 109.6 points on the other end, and the Lakers will look to take advantage to capture the season series for the first time in six years.
3) The guard battle will be the focus once again
In their previous matchup, all eyes were on All-Star point guard John Wall, whom center Marcin Gortat said would “torture” Lonzo Ball the entire game.
While Ball was held to 2-of-11 shooting, he did have 10 assists. Meanwhile, Wall tallied 18 points (but needed 22 shot attempts) and nine dimes.
Ball’s performance encapsulated his season thus far, as he has struggled to score (29.5 percent shooting) but stayed involved with his passing (6.8 assists) and rebounding (6.3).
Meanwhile, Clarkson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have been solid in their roles within the backcourt rotation.
However, the Wizards’ guards have been on another level.
Wall ranks second in the NBA in assists (10.8), draws the second-most free throw attempts (8.8) and scores the third-most points off drives (9.7).
And Beal can hit from just about anywhere, putting up the league’s ninth-most points per contest (25.4) by sinking shots from both inside and outside the arc.
Lakers: Andrew Bogut (back tightness) is probable. Larry Nance Jr. (fractured second metacarpal, left hand) is out.
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (left Achilles surgery) is out.
Tip-Off: 4 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Location: Capital One Arena — Washington, D.C.