Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: LA Clippers

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Paul George. Kawhi Leonard. How do the Washington Wizards match up against what might be the best team in the league?

Washington Wizards record versus Los Angeles Clippers last season: 1-1

Clippers added: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Maurice Harkless

Clippers lost: Garrett Temple, Wilson Chandler, Tyrone Wallace, Sindarius Thornwell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari

The LA Clippers went from being a fringe playoff team to a title contender in one off-season. They shocked the NBA world by trading Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft picks and two pick swaps for Paul George. But wait there’s more. The Clippers one-upped themselves by signing arguably the best player in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard and thus shifting the balance of power in the league.

George, and Leonard will team up with Patrick Beverly to form one of the stingiest defenses in the league. Beverly has been named to the all-defensive second team and the all-defensive first team. George has been named twice to both the all-defensive second team and all-defensive first team. Leonard is a two time defensive player of the year. He was also named to the all-defensive second team twice, and the all-defensive first team twice. These three are going to continually frustrate the Wizards offense and everyone else in the NBA.

Last year the Clippers had an explosive offense as they averaged 115.1 points per game, the fifth-highest mark in the league. They shot 47.1 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from behind the arc which was seventh and second-best, respectively. Losing Gallinari hurts, but adding Leonard and George was worth it as they will elevate an already impressive offense.

Last year in two games against the Wizards, George averaged 18.5 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Leonard scorched the Wizards last season, averaging 34 points, 3.5 assists, and 10.5 rebounds. They join Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, who averaged 17 points and 4.5 assists last season against the Wizards. Washington’s defense is already suspect and will be overwhelmed by this bunch.

Wizards to Watch

With John Wall out, all eyes will be on Bradley Beal and how he steps up to the challenge against the NBA’s elite. It will be interesting to see how does against the stifling defense of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Patrick Beverley. But the real Wizard to watch in this series will be Rui Hachimura.

Similar to Beal, Hachiumura will be tested by elite defenders. It is key to his development to see how he acclimates to the NBA game, especially when matched up against All-Stars. He will be guarded by Paul George but should expect some switches from Kawhi Leonard. Hachimura may end up getting shut down. If he does, it will be important to see how he adapts moving forward.

2019-2020 Game Predictions

Sunday, December 1 in LA

The Wizards will be playing the last of a four-game road trip that saw them already play the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers.

George, and Leonard will put on for the home crowd as each will drop over 25. Bradley Beal won’t be outdone and will drop 30, while Thomas Bryant follows suit with a double-double. Despite Beal’s performance, the Clippers will be too much and will run away with this one.

Next. Washington Wizards Season Preview: Los Angeles Lakers. dark

Sunday, December 8 in DC

Washington will return home after a road game in Miami. In front of the home crowd, the Wizards will put up a better fight than they did on the road a week earlier. But once again, LA will dominate the Wizards in the nation’s capital.