The ever-turning world of the Los Angeles Lakers comes to the District tonight, fresh off an overtime loss in Detroit last night. You think Kobe and Co. will be motivated to take care of business? Otherwise, Washington’s Nick Young will be showing off in front of his hometown team, and former Maryland Terp Steve Blake will once again be returing home, in a sense. Hey, did you know that in the 2011 calendar year, the Wizards and Lakers did not play each other? That’s the first time the two teams have gone a year without a matchup since forever (dating back to when the Washington franchise was known as the Chicago Packers in ’61-62). Note: This happened because both WAS-LAL games in the 2010-11 season came in December 2010. The last time the Wizards beat the Lakers in Washington came on December 26, 2005… that’s like 2,263 days ago. For today’s 3-on-3, we have Andy Kamenetzy from ESPN Los Angeles’ Land O’ Lakers blog (@ESPNLandOLakers), along with TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) and John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) The Lakers weren’t able to slow down Pistons PG Rodney Stuckey, who gashed LA’s defense for 34 points in a Detroit overtime win last night. It looks like an opportunity for John Wall to live up to his “Game Changer” moniker. What would have a bigger impact for the Wizards: 20-plus points or 10-plus assists from Wall?
Remember that goofy Bobby Knight “Game Face” display during some press conference long ago? Whether you do or you don’t, let’s take it to YouTube (it’s No. 2 in the countdown of top Knight soundbites):
But what about pre-game faces? Well, thanks to TAI’s Adam McGinnis, we have some of those faces from last Tuesday’s Wizards-Lakers game below. But first …
Truth About It is giving away more free Wizards tickets, this time two lower-level tickets to Saturday’s Wizards game versus the Miami Heat, courtesy of StubHub.
How do you win the tickets?Like last time, at around 3 PM EST this afternoon, Friday, December 17, I will be posting a Wizards-related trivia question on the TAI Twitter account: @Truth_About_It. The first person to email, NOT Tweet, the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will have two (2) tickets — Section 117, Row F — waiting for them at the Verizon Center Will Call for Saturday night’s 7 PM game.
The trivia question last time was: “Before playing last game @ US Airways Arena in 97, the Wash. Wizards signed a player who prev. played in 345 total gms as a Bullet. Name him”
[Kobe Bryant looks to discover more about Sam Cassell - photo: Adam McGinnis]
How does one evaluate a performance like the Washington Wizards gave in a 103-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night? They didn’t play their worst, but weren’t even in sight of the perfect game they would have needed to beat the reigning champs. Washington did their best to fight, but continued to make the same exact mistakes that fans should sadly be becoming immune to now. Each key defensive gaffe became mundane, blending in with the others.
Already severely out-manned with no Andray Blatche, John Wall and Josh Howard, Yi Jianlian went down about five minutes into the game with just about the same injury to the same knee. That’s when the Washington Post’sMichael Lee invoked the ‘Curse O’ Les Boulez’ on Twitter. Great.
Lesser than a tale of two halves, it was a tale of two quarters, the first and the second. The Wizards “hung around” in the first quarter, moving the ball well (7 assists, 11 field-goals, 0 turnovers) and playing aggressive defense. Of course, that aggressiveness combined with the aura of a champion that seems to possess referees pinned the Wizards for 10 fouls — although some of those should certainly be credited to bad defensive positioning. After the game, Al Thornton also denoted a couple early call against him as “cheap.” Pretty much what you can expect when you have to guard Kobe Bryant and his ability to draw fouls. Watching the referees pay meticulous attention to Kobe’s presence with their whistles is akin to walking by a construction site behind of bevy of Hooters waitresses.