Preview: Washington Wizards look for rebound performance against LA Clippers

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

After suffering a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Washington Wizards will look to rebound with a strong performance against the LA Clippers.

Second verse, same as the first. The Washington Wizards are back at Staples Center to close out their road trip and they have their work cut out for them. After being blown out by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, 125-103, the Wizards will get a crack at Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the LA Clippers.

Wizards to Watch

As is the theme this season, watch for Bradley Beal to shoulder a heavy load.

But expect him to be consistently double-teamed, as the Clippers have the depth to maintain aggressive defense on the Wizards’ All-Star guard. His game against Los Angeles was largely forgettable, 18 points on (5-13) shooting, but he did dish out nine assists in the blowout. That was primarily because the Lakers continued to throw double teams at Beal and force the ball out of his hands. More and more teams are using it to (try and) stop Beal, and that probably won’t end anytime soon. At least not against the Clippers.

Beal has handled the added attention well, though. If he’s doubled, someone else is open, and Beal finds them more times than not. He has recorded nine or more assists in six of Washington’s seventeen games this season.

It will be interesting to see if Rui Hachimura can continue upon his impressive performance against the Lakers. The rookie forward scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 26 minutes against Los Angeles. However, after an explosive, eight-point first quarter, Hachimura struggled against the Lakers’ size, particularly against Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard around the rim. Hachimura learned the hard way why the Lakers lead the NBA in blocks, per Basketball-Reference. Watch to see how the rookie bounces back against another stout defensive unit.

Clippers to Watch

With the expectation already set that Leonard and George will do their thing, watch for big man Montrezl Harrell to challenge Washington’s young center Thomas Bryant. The Clippers’ center is coming off the bench and averaging 18.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

As always, you’ve got to keep an eye on the Clippers’ sixth man Lou Williams. A three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award, Williams is averaging 21.7 points and 6.2 assists off of the bench. He’s bound to cause some serious issues for the Wizards’ NBA-worst defense.

Next. Does Beal need load management?. dark

It’ll take a mighty effort to push these Washington Wizards to a victory in their second consecutive game at the Staples Center. This 14-6 Los Angeles Clippers team will not go down easy.