December 5, 2021

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Fit And Go Forward

Three questions as Wizards get set to take on LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers

The Wizards have one more exhibition game before things start counting for real in Orlando, as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

The Wizards will get a difficult test against one of the NBA’s best teams. Here are three questions as we look ahead to the game…

Who’s in, who’s out?

This is the final dress rehearsal for both teams before the seeding games begin later in the week. In a normal preseason schedule, that would usually mean the stars would rest. But given the unusual circumstances here, both teams may treat this game differently. The Wizards don’t really have any stars to rest, or any reason to hold guys out. And the Lakers could see this as a valuable opportunity to get players into shape before they battle the Clippers on Thursday to open the season.

There are also some injuries to monitor. The Lakers saw Anthony Davis leave Friday’s game against the Magic after he was poked in the eye. And the Wizards have Troy Brown Jr. dealing with a sprained right thumb. LeBron James is healthy, and has looked even more dominant than usual in Orlando. We’ll see if he needs the reps enough to play good minutes.

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH WIZARDS VS. LAKERS

Bonga revenge game?

All the talk among Wizards fan right now is about Isaac Bonga, who lit up the Clippers for 15 points and 12 boards on Saturday night. Now he gets to see his former team, the Lakers, who shipped him to Washington last July in a salary dump deal that also gave the Wizards center Moe Wagner.

Bonga has looked improved so far through two exhibition games. If he keeps it up, he is going to earn himself a nice role in the rotation next season. The Wizards are viewing their time in Disney World as a window for player development. Some of their players are auditioning to stick around and be factored into what should be a better team next season once John Wall returns. Bonga has taken advantage of the opportunity so far in a big way.

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Final tune-up

With only one more game to figure out his rotation, head coach Scott Brooks is likely to escalate that process on Monday with a more defined group of players receiving minutes. Look for the rotation in this game to closely resemble the way things will operate once the season officially restarts later in the week.

The starting lineup is becoming more clear, especially if Brown is healthy. Shabazz Napier seems set at point guard with Bonga in there alongside Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant. If Brown can’t go, it will be Jerome Robinson. The bench, though, remains in flux with some new faces like Jerian Grant and Admiral Schofield, who hasn’t played much at the NBA level this season, in the mix. 

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Three questions as Wizards get set to take on LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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