Wizards conclude homestand against sizzling Clippers

The Wizards will look to finish 3-2 on their five-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Clippers.Coming off losses to the Nets and Trail Blazers, the Wizards will wrap up their longest homestand of the season against some familiar faces.The Clippers routed the Wizards in Los Angeles 136-104 earlier this season, and have won five games in a row and seven of their last eight games.This will be their third game in four days on the East coast before heading back to L.A.Dwight Howard, who left Sunday’s game, is considered day-to-day heading into the final game of the homestand.He did not practice on Monday, which is not a good sign for his availability against the Clippers.Howard aggravated the soreness he was having on his glutes from his piriformis injury.If Howard cannot go, Ian Mahinmi would likely start in his place on Tuesday.Even if Howard does not play, expect both teams to play small during much of the game.Both the Wizards and Clippers rank top 10 in the NBA in pace, with Washington sixth and Los Angeles eighth.The Wizards will likely play Keef Morris and Jeff Green a lot at the ‘5’ if Howard does not play.In the offseason, the Wizards acquired Austin Rivers in exchange for Marcin Gortat, who will be playing his first game at Capital One Arena since the trade.Gortat played five seasons for the Wizards (2013-2018), averaging 11.6points and 9.5rebounds per game in 402 games.Rivers, of course, is the son of Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers.The younger Rivers averaged 11.1points during his three-plus seasons in Los Angeles.Clippers forward Mike Scott played for the Wizards last season, one of the team’s top reserves a year ago.Scott averaged 8.8points on 52.7% shooting and 40.5% from deep last season with Washington.The Clippers may have one of the deepest teams in the NBA, with 12 players averaging 10 or more minutes per game.Led by Tobias Harris (20.9PPG), Danilo Gallinari (19.6PPG), and Lou Williams (18.9), the Clippers are extremely balanced at every position and have meshed well despite having a lot of new pieces in the past year.That list doesn’t even include Montrezl Harrell, who is averaging 20.5points and 8.3rebounds per game in his last six games.Those four do the bulk of the scoring, but the team has almost 10 players consistently contributing to the league’s fourth best offense (112.7points per 100 possessions).Defensively, L.A.relies on forcing tough shots; the Clippers rank first in opponent effective field goal percentage (48.7%), but tied for last in the NBA in forcing turnovers (11.8% turnover rate).Los Angeles does not play overly aggressive defense, but has several great on-ball defenders in Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, to name a few.

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