Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
When: 7:30 PM Pacific Time
How to Watch: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Moe Harkless, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ivica Zubac
Wizards: Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant
Clippers: Rodney McGruder (right hamstring strain – Out), Landry Shamet (high left ankle sprain – Out)
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles strain – Out), C.J. Miles (left wrist ligament injury – Out), Moritz Wagner (left ankle sprain – Questionable), John Wall (left Achilles rehabilitation – Out)
The Big Picture
The Los Angeles Clippers (14-6) face the Washington Wizards (6-11) for the first time this season Sunday at Staples Center. Barring unforeseen circumstances this game should register as a win for the Clippers, who currently sit in third place in the Western Conference and are 11-1 at home.
The Clippers are back home after a three-game stretch in which they went 2-1. They are coming off a ten-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs during which their three top scorers – Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams - shot a combined 12 of 44 from the field. The team looked sluggish from start to finish in the outing, never quite locking in on either end of the floor. The Clippers’ 14 turnovers, 11 of which were committed by the three aforementioned stars, did not help the cause.
Some wrote the loss off to too much tryptophan ...
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which forms the basis of brain chemicals that make people tired ... the struggle is real Clipper Nation!— Jeanne Zelasko (@JeanneZelasko) November 30, 2019
The Washington Wizards are currently seeded 10th in the East and are coming off an even worse loss than the Clippers, having dropped one to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday 125-103. Sunday’s match-up marks the end of a four game road trip for Washington.
The Wizards are not without talent, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. They boast the second highest scoring offense in the NBA with an average of 118.5 points per game, and are third in the league in pace (104.7). Bradley Beal is best for the franchise, averaging 28.3 points and 7.1 assists per game. Five other players average double-digits for the Wizards: Thomas Bryant (14.2), Davis Bertrans (12.8), Rui Hachimura (12.4), Isaiah Thomas (11.9) and Moritz Wagner (12.0).
Keys to the Game
Defending the Wizards’ Well-Rounded Offense
The Clippers defense ranks tenth in the league in opponents points per game (107.5) but can be streaky in intensity. The Wizards present a well-rounded and fast offensive attack that the Clippers will have to consistently defend.
Clippers Need to Bounce Back Offensively
The Clippers offensive was absolutely dismal against the Spurs on Friday. The one bright spot for the franchise was JaMychal Green. Green had 16 points on 5 for 8 shooting from the field, including four from long. Luckily, the chances of having another game in which Leonard, George and Williams are all off is slim to none.
Playing to the Clippers’ strengths, the Wizards have the worst defense in the NBA, giving up 121.1 points per game. Their game down low is particularly weak; expect the Clippers to gobble up rebounds and for Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell to feast down low.
Controlling Turnovers and Opponent’s Points in Transition
Turnovers continue to be an unfortunate storyline for Los Angeles. They need to do a better job protecting the ball and defending teams in transition as the season moves on. Friday the Spurs scored 16 points off Clipper turnovers, and had a total of 22 fast break points.