The surging Washington Wizards will take on the fully healthy LA Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back. While the Wizards are on a five-game unbeaten streak, Ty Lue's men enter this tie on the back of a tough loss.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs LA Clippers | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, February 23rd, 10 PM ET (Wednesday, 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards continue to thrive on their road trip and recorded a statement win in overtime against the LA Lakers in their previous outing. Bradley Beal has unsurprisingly been a key factor in this change of fortunes but Russell Westbrook has been the main difference maker. He's looking healthier with each passing game and facilitating the offense better.
Rookie Deni Avdija has made noticeable improvements too. He drained some clutch shots against LA Lakers and defended LeBron James well. The addition of Garrison Matthews and Moe Wagner to the starting lineup has helped in stabilizing the Washington Wizards defensively.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has increasingly looked like his aggressive self in the last few games. The former MVP has averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists per game during Washington Wizards' winning run. It will be Westbrook's responsibility to attack the rim with vigor against the LA Clippers so that the defense collapses and he's able to create open looks for his teammates.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G Russell Westbrook, G Bradley Beal, F Garrison Mathews, F Rui Hachimura, C Moe Wagner
LA Clippers Preview
After missing several players due to injuries, the LA Clippers are back to full capacity. They came up short against the Brooklyn Nets in their most recent outing but their three-point shooting was a key positive. They shoot a league-best 42% from downtown and went 15-of-35 from the three-point range against Brooklyn.
Paul George had 34 points in just the second game since his return from injury and looks solid on both ends of the court. Meanwhile, Marcus Morris Sr. has begun to justify the four-year, $64 million extension he signed at the start of the season by draining some clutch shots in recent games.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard has gotten past his "load management" days and taken on extended playing time this season. He's shown improvements as a playmaker too, averaging a career-high 4.9 assists per game. Kawhi has racked up 29.4 points alongside 8.4 rebounds in his last five games and will spearhead LA Clippers against the Washington Wizards.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
G Patrick Beverley, G Paul George, F Kawhi Leonard, F Nicolas Batum, C Serge Ibaka
Wizards vs Clippers Match Prediction
Even though the Washington Wizards have been on a terrific run, fatigue is likely to come into the picture given the length of their road trip. They'll also be playing on a second consecutive night after being dragged to overtime against the LA Lakers. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers are well-rested and look hungry to return to winning ways. Expect Kawhi and Co. to win this tie.
Where to watch Wizards vs Clippers?
Local coverage of the game will be available on NBC Sports Washington and FOX Sports Prime Ticket. You can also live stream the same on NBA League Pass.