To cap off a weekend of some fantastic NBA basketball, the Washington Wizards face the LA Clippers at the Staples Center Sunday night. Both teams are coming off Friday night losses, as the Clippers fell to the Spurs while the Wizards lost to the Lakers. The Wizards only have six wins on the season, while the Clippers only have six losses.
Friday night’s loss to the Spurs was only the second loss the Clippers have suffered since the debut of Paul George, the other being his first game with the team against the Pelicans.
The Wizards have had a tough time stringing together wins this season and have only won two of their last five games. The Clippers are favored by 12 with an over/under of 238.5.
Struggling To Put It Together
The Wizards have struggled mightily this season and, once again, seem to be underplaying their potential with the amount of talent on the team. While they rank at or near the top of the league in field-goal percentage, three-point percentage, assists, and points scored, the team’s abysmal defense hasn’t allowed for many wins.
The Wizards average over 118 points per game, which is good for third in the league; unfortunately, they give up over 121 points per game, ranking 30th in the NBA. Their inability to block shots and rebound, as well as giving up way too many free-throw attempts, has greatly hindered their ability to close out games.
Team leader Bradley Beal looks to change that moving forward, as Beal leads the team in both points and assists.
The Clippers rank near the top of the league on both ends of the floor this season. Their lock-down defense that includes Kawhi Leonard, George, and Patrick Beverley has held opponents to only 107.5 points per game, good for 10th in the league. Offensively, the Clippers are scoring 113.7 points per game, which is good for eighth in the league.
George and Leonard are both averaging over 20 points per game. When you have a guy like Lou Williams coming off of the bench and coming in just behind Leonard in scoring, the wins come a little easier. George is averaging 22.6 points per game since his return, to go along with 1.6 steals per contest. This is also a team that ranks in the top five in rebounds at both ends of the floor.
An Enemy Too Strong
With the Wizards regressing pretty steadily, it’s hard to imagine a world where they come into the Staples Center and beat the Clippers. However, Washington is 10-6-1 against the point spread this season, while the Clippers sit at 10-10. Oftentimes, the Clippers have been favored by a few too many, but in this game, I don’t believe that’s the case. The Clippers are too strong on both ends of the floor for the Wizards to keep it close. The pick here is the Clippers to win big and cover the spread.