The Wizards will be without Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Staples Center.
Garrett Temple and Jason Collins will both start. Collins got his first start as a Wizard on Wednesday in the team’s 88-79 win over the Phoenix Suns, helping to force Jermaine O’Neal into a difficult 3 for 11 shooting night. He has had some success defending Dwight Howard in the past and certainly won’t hold back with his fouls.
Coach Randy Wittman wasn’t certain if Collins would play big minutes. “The play on the floor dictates all that, so we’ll see how it goes,” Wittman said. “Dwight’s Dwight. We got to do the job. We don’t look at him any different than we did when we had to face him four times in Orlando. He’s a guy that we’ve got to control in the paint. Can’t allow him to get deep paint position and touches inside.
Beal will continue to be day-to-day with the ankle that he aggravated while trying to contest a Shannon Brown layup in the fourth quarter in Phoenix.
“It’s sore, but he did a little on the court today,” Wittman said. “But it’s an improvement from where he was a day after.”
The Lakers will bring back Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol from injuries. Bryant had missed the past two games with a sprained left ankle and the flu while Gasol has missed the past 20 games with a torn plantar fascia.
“I’m sure they are looking at this stretch here of coming down the wire of getting their guys together and playing together,” Wittman said. “It doesn’t really change anything of how we have to play, of coming out and doing that from the start.”
Tipoff: 10:30 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)