Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The L.A. Clippers have gotten out to an encouraging start to the season, but have had some growing pains along the way. One of those top showings occurred in their last meeting, falling in convincing fashion on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.
It has been a frustrating start to the year for the Wizards, falling well below the .500 mark to begin the year. The Wizards are coming off a tough loss on the road against the Miami Heat.
Sunday's game sets up a chance for both teams to get back on track.
Clippers looking to bounce backHeading into the season, there was a tremendous level of expectations placed before the Clippers to not only be one of the top teams in the stacked Western Conference, but also were pinned by many as the favorites to win the NBA. For the most part, L.A. has lived up to that mantle behind their deep roster that is among the most talented in the league. There have been some lulls along the way as they have continued to be chemistry with their revamped roster that is led by two of the league's best players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who both have dealt with injuries this season that have each kept them off the floor for notable lengths this year. It should also be factored in that neither player has practiced with the other up to this point in the year.
The Clippers are coming off an absolute shelling at the hands of the Bucks, but that should be taken for what the Clippers are on the floor as one of the most-balanced teams in the NBA. George has been a huge offensive factor, averaging 22.7 points on 44.6 percent from the floor and 42.7 percent from beyond the arc. What has been most impressive about his scoring is that he's hitting at that clip on 9.2 attempts per contest. Meanwhile, Leonard has been a major factor on both ends of the floor averaging a team-best 24.7 points on 43.6 percent shooting from the floor. He has been impacted by nagging injuries this season, but he has been their driving factor on the floor that will be motivated to put a 17-point performance against Milwaukee behind him in a major way.
Wizards hoping to get back past defensive woesThe Wizards headed into the 2019-20 season with plenty of questions around the roster due to the expected dependency on young talent to play in significant roles on the floor. It certainly didn't help that All-Star point guard John Wall is expected to miss the entire season after tearing his Achilles tendon. Washington has had their struggles primarily stem on the defensive end of the floor giving up 121.9 points per contest, which is currently the worst mark in the league heading into Sunday's contest. They are a current trend that has seen 15 straight opponents top more than 110 points against them, including them allowing more than 120 points seven times during that span. The Clippers top that list scoring 150 points that unsurprisingly marked the second game this year that they have allowed that mark.
The Wizards have held their own offensively throughout the year that has been led by All-Star guard Bradley Beal, who has continued to excel in an expanded role with Wall out of the mix. Beal is currently fifth in the league averaging 28.3 points along with 7.0 assists per contest while shooting 46.0 percent from the floor. He has notched 20 or more points 16 times along with reaching 30 or more points 10 times that has helped make him one of three Eastern Conference players averaging at least 25 points. Beal is also currently one of seven players to have nine games with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ultimately, the contest will come down to their defensive shortcomings being the difference in Sunday's game.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Washington is 1-5 ATS in their last six games playing on one day's rest.
- Washington is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings against L.A.
- L.A. is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight-up loss of more than 10 points.
- L.A. is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
- L.A. is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
If there was ever a game that spewed a bounce-back performance, this it for the Clippers after being embarrassed by the Bucks. That outing was nowhere indicative of the type of team that they possess that should put them in contention for an NBA title. That, along with playing against one of the worst defenses in the league in the Wizards, is the perfect recipe for them to come back strongly offensively in what should be a blowout. The Wizards are competitive with their young talent, but that won't prove to be a thing for L.A. to get by on Sunday afternoon.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Wizards will have a tough task of facing a highly motivated Clippers team looking to erase the taste of their blowout loss. It helps that cause given that Washington has had tremendous issues defensively that saw them give up 150 points against this same team not more than a week ago. The Wizards are happening to run into the Clippers at the wrong moment that should see them get torched defensively. Meanwhile, their offense led by Beal should put up a respectable performance like they have largely done in many of their losses this season. Ultimately, expect the Clippers to come out beyond motivated to torch the WIzards.