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Washington Wizards vs LA Clippers Prediction: Combined starting 5 featuring Bradley Beal and Kawhi Leonard - February 23rd

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards celebrates with Russell Westbrook #4.
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards celebrates with Russell Westbrook #4.
ANALYST
Modified 23 Feb 2021
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Just hours after defeating the defending champions LA Lakers, Washington Wizards are all set to take on LA Clippers tonight at the Staples Center. The visitors are coming into the match on the back of a 5-game winning streak.

On the other end, the LA Clippers fell to the Brooklyn Nets in their most recent outing, but currently sit comfortably at the second spot in the Western Conference in the 2020-21 NBA season.

Washington Wizards vs LA Clippers Prediction: Combined starting 5 - February 23rd

In this report, we will give you a combined lineup featuring the 5 best players between these two teams. Not surprisingly, the upturn in form for the Washington Wizards came insync with Russell Westbrook clicking into top form.

For LA Clippers, majority of the burden will again be on their star duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. However, the most inform player on the court tonight will be Bradley Beal, who is currently leading the scoring charts for the 2020-21 NBA season.

The LA Clippers have a 22-10 record this season and have won 6 of their last 10 games, even though they've dealt with injuries to their top stars. Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards have won five games in a row, which includes wins against the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, and the LA Lakers to improve their season record to 11-17.

Though their record is still way under .500, the Washington Wizards are just three games behind the sixth place in the NBA Eastern Conference and 1.5 games behind the play-in tournament spots.

Without further ado, let us start.


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Guard - Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards)

Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.
Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.

Russell Westbrook has been putting up good numbers in the entire season, though his shooting efficiency has not been quite high in the 2020-21 NBA season.

Still, Westbrook is impacting the game with his triple-doubles and his ability to fill the stat sheet. Westbrook is averaging 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game in the current campaign. He has a shooting split of 42/29/61 that surely must improve if the Washington Wizards will have a chance to make it to the NBA Playoffs.

He is leading the league with eight triple-doubles so far. In the team's current winning streak, Westbrook is averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists per game and has helped the team, even though he is not shooting well from the free-throw line (48%).


Guard - Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)

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Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards shoots.
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards shoots.

Bradley Beal will start in the 2021 All-Star Game and the Washington Wizards' guard has more than earned his spot to represent the best players in the league. His 2020-21 campaign has been tremendous individually, with his offense going nuclear in the first part of the season.

Beal is averaging a league-best 32.9 points per game so far with shooting splits of 48/34/89. He has 18 games with at least 30 points, three of at least 40, and one 60-point game in the season already.

He is also averaging 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. In Washington Wizards' last five games, Beal has averaged 33 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while making 53% of his field goals, 34% of his threes, and 88% of his shots from the free-throw line.


Forward - Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard has missed seven games for the LA Clippers in the 2020-21 NBA season, but is still performing at an elite level. Unlike last year, in the current campaign, it's been his leadership that has driven the franchise to a solid start so far.

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Leonard has put up 26.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game (matching his career-high) so far. He has also been efficient with his shot selection from every level, having made 51% of his field goals, 39% of his triples, and 89% of his free-throw shots.

Apart from being great on the offensive end, Kawhi Leonard has also been active for the LA Clippers on defensive side of the court. As of now, the Klaw is averaging an impressive 1.7 steals per night.


Forward - Paul George (LA Clippers)

Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers drives toward the basket.
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers drives toward the basket.

In the first month of the 2020-21 NBA season, it was Paul George's name which was mentioned constantly in early NBA MVP talks. However, having missed a few games and Kawhi Leonard's individual greatness has crushed all the momentum that was behind PG13.

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Still, Paul George is having a tremendous comeback year, after what can only be described as a disastrous post-season run last season. Currently, in the 2020-21 NBA season, the former Indiana Pacers star is averaging 24 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Moreover, it's his efficiency from the floor, which has really caught the attention of the viewers, thanks to a shooting split of 51/47/89.


Center - Serge Ibaka (LA Clippers)

Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers.
Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers.

Serge Ibaka was a nice addition to the LA Clippers' rotation back in the 2020 offseason and he has been more than solid for Tyronn Lue's team so far.

The veteran rim-protector, who can be an efficient shooter from the perimeter and the mid range, has been excellent for the LA Clippers so far in the 2020-21 NBA season. Currently, Ibaka is putting up 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block per game and has started in LA Clippers' 31 games this season.

The former champions has made 51% of his field goals this year, and has made 35% of his three-pointers (2.7 attempts per game). Also, Ibaka remains a solid free-throw shooter, and has made 82% of his shots from the line. Against the Washington Wizards, Ibaka could be an excellent option to punish them inside.


Also read: Washington Wizards vs LA Clippers Prediction and Match Preview - February 23rd, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Published 23 Feb 2021, 21:18 IST
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