By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards return home for a three game homestand beginning tonight as they host the L.A. Clippers at Verizon Center (7:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The Clippers beat the Wizards, 94-87, back on January 19th in Los Angeles.
After winning seven of 10, the Wizards have now lost four in a row and look to regain the spark they had now that they are back at home. They have won five of their last six games at Verizon Center and seven of their next ten games are to be played at home, which could allow them to find their rhythm once again.
The Clippers have been playing without their All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who has been bothered by a bruised knee cap. He returned from the injury briefly and played in the previous matchup between these two teams, but is unlikely to go tonight. That means that Eric Bledsoe, a former teammate of John Wall at Kentucky, will get the start at point guard and lead the Clippers attack.
In their previous game, the Wizards did a nice job on Blake Griffin on the post as he shot just 5-18 from the floor. They held the Clippers to just 36% shooting as a team and will need a similar defensive effort tonight to try and bring down the visiting Clip.
The Wizards catch the Clippers at a good time, as they have lost six of their last eight games, including their last two in Toronto and Boston. While the Clippers played yesterday in a matinee, the Wizards had the day off as they returned home from a road trip. They have this whole week at home against three playoff caliber teams so they will need to bring their A game each night to get back on a roll.
The action kicks off at 7pm.
Nene had a nice second half on Saturday night in San Antonio, finishing the game with 11p, 6r, & 6a. He has struggled a bit shooting the ball over the past week, but has still managed to hit double figures in five of the Wizard last six games. The Wizards will need to get him going on the low post in order for their offense to be efficient here at home.
On the other side will be the Western Conference starting PF in the upcoming All-Star Game, Blake Griffin. Known for his spectacular dunks, Griffin has developed a solid post game and is the team's leading scorer. The key will be to limit his dunks and force him to make shots from outside the paint. The Wizards did a good job of this in their first matchup, limiting Griffin to just 5-18 shooting, although he finished with 17p, 11r.
In the below clip, Chris Singleton feeds Nene for the jam.
In this clip, John Wall finds Nene running the floor and finds him for the running slam.