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Wizards vs. Lakers preview: The 11th-best teams in each conference face off on national television

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Tuesday, March 26 at 10:30 pm Eastern Time
Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California

Injury Report

Wizards: Trevor Ariza (Doubtful, Groin), John Wall (Out, Achilles), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)

Lakers: LeBron James (Day-to-Day, Knee), Mike Muscala (Day-to-Day, Ankle), Lonzo Ball (Out, Ankle), Josh Hart (Out, Knee), Brandon Ingram (Out, Shoulder)

What to Watch for

How did we get here? Seriously, how did we get here?

If I had told you at the start of the season that the Wizards would have a chance to finish with a better record than the Lakers, would you have assumed it was a good thing or a bad thing? Sure, the Lakers had some variability with all their new acquisitions, but most assumed they would at least be a playoff team with LeBron James in the fold. Meanwhile, the Wizards were a playoff mainstay that seemed to be a sure bet for another trip in the shallow Eastern Conference. You probably could have found just as many who thought the Wizards outplaying the Lakers would be a great thing for Washington rather than a bad thing for Los Angeles.

Instead, it turns out things have gone poorly for both sides. The Lakers have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and the Wizards could be out by the end of the week, even though both teams made big swings during the season to add talent for the stretch run. Trevor Ariza couldn’t save Washington’s defense, especially after John Wall went down for the season, and Los Angeles couldn’t swing a deal for Anthony Davis, despite offering everything that wasn’t tied down.

On Tuesday night, we’ll get to see which team will respond better now that neither team has anything left to play for this season. Things haven’t gone well for either side in recent weeks. They’ve both lost five of their last six going into this game.

A random moment in Wizards - Lakers history: Gilbert Arenas goes for 37 against Kobe and the Lakers in 2007