Getty Images | Photo By Kevork Djansezian

Today marks the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt, while addressing congress, called it “a date that will live in infamy”. That sudden and deliberate attack was a on the Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

It’s time to honor, support and thank the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present for protecting yours as well as my freedom.

The (14-6) Los Angeles Lakers are back at the Staples Center tonight to host the (6-13) Washington Wizards and his will be the first of two games against the Wizards in one week.

The Lakers snapped their losing streak with a big win over the Kings; however, it’s impossible to say today that the Purple and Gold have really turned things around.

For the Lakers, it’s really all about their defense, energy and execution. What can be said with certainty is that they face the Wizards tonight and then embark on a seven-game, nine-day road trip.

Like every other team in the league, they’re rounding into shape 20-games into the season. It’s this writer’s belief that the Purple and Gold will essentially ‘get well’ and fix what ails them in the next eight games. There is also a strong chance that Andrew Bynum will make his season debut during the extended road trip.

Against the Wizards, the Lakers face a talented group of guard’s; first overall pick in the draft John Wall and veteran Kirk Hinrich comprise the starting backcourt. The talented and productive combination of Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young posted 34-points in their recent loss to the Suns. Nick Young played at Cleveland High School and collegially at USC.

Veteran Wizards guard and Grant High School alum Gilbert Arenas enjoys playing at home in Los Angeles. In the last 12-games against the Lakers, he has averaged 29.1 points per game. Arenas put up 60 points at the Staples Center on 12/17/2006. The Wizards are a young team that has essentially played a lot of small ball and are receiving a lot of production from their three-guard alignment.

In Washington’s 125-108 loss to the Suns; the Wizards scored an impressive 54-point’s in the paint.  The Lakers have swept the season series with the Wizards the past three years. The Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Wizards at the Staples Center. Under Phil Jackson the Lakers are 16-4 against them.

The Lakers will run their offense through Pau Gasol on the inside and Kobe Bryant on the outside. Don’t be surprised to see Kobe Bryant in the post as well. Their front line has to play aggressive on both ends of the court. The combination of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest need to out-score, out-rebound and out-work the Wizards.

They have to limit the Wizards points in the painted area, take care of the ball, and stop the dribble penetration of the guards. They have to get back in transition, have a solid game defending the screen and roll plays and rotate out to open shooters. Quick guards have caused them problems in the past and just might again in the future, but they have to turn tonight’s quick guard into a jump shooter.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Washington, DC:  Comcast SportsNet (Steve Buckhantz & Phil Chenier)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Washington, DC: Sportsradio 106.7 FM (Dave Johnson & Glen Consor)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Right Knee) Out
  • Theo Ratliff ( Left Knee) Out
  • Lamar Odom (Sore Right Foot) Probable
  • Pau Gasol (Strained Left Hamstring) Is Day-to-Day

Wizards:

  • None