Wizards vs. Lakers Preview: Can the Wizards avoid a three-game losing streak

The Washington Wizards (35-33) continue their road trip to play the Los Angeles Lakers (22-45) on Friday. Here's what you need to know.

The Wizards lost to the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday, but they won't have time to dwell on that game since they now get to face the struggling Lakers tonight.

This year has been all about the Wizards' resurgence as a relevant team in the NBA, but to continue that, they must avoid long losing stretches. Washington hasn't been in a three-game losing streak since February 11-18, or over a month. Granted, they have lost four of their last six games, which included a stretch of two losses, two wins and two more losses, but at least they haven't lost three in a row. Can they get back into the win column tonight?

Where and when? 10:30 p.m. at Staples Center in Los Angeles. You can watch the game on CSN.

Who is out? For the Wizards, Nene is out and Marcin Gortat is questionable after missing last night's game. Multiple players will sit fo the Lakers. Kobe Bryant is out for the season. Chris Kaman will sit. Jordan Farmar suffered a groin injury during practice and is out. Jordan Hill is questionable, and Nick Young may return after nearly a month on the sidelines due to a fractured knee cap.

Steve Nash will come back, though.

What are they good at? Having multiple nationally-televised games despite their record. You may think that perhaps the Lakers would get flexed out of some games for some other teams this late into the season, but the national audience still loves their Lakers.

What are they bad at? Staying healthy. It is not a complete surprise that they are among the NBA's worst in many offensive and defensive categories given the extent of the injuries on their roster.

Is it a good thing to see the Lakers being a bad team in the standings this year? I think so because they need to rebuild and this season will allow them to get a major draft pick for next year. Kobe is now clearly in the latter half of his career, and the same with Pau Gasol and Nash. The team needs to find a successor for them soon. For a Lakers fan's take on why this season is good for the Lakers, check out this FanPost from Silver Screen and Roll.

Winner? Going with the Wizards for this one.

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