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Wizards vs Clippers preview: Miami, Oklahoma City, L.A.?

The Washington Wizards attempt to get another winning streak going as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Pacific-leading Clippers.


Which is more likely: The Washington Wizards winning five of six games, or the worst team in the NBA beating each of the league's three best teams in the same season? With a win tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers, Washington could do both and maybe even start to earn some *gasp* respect around the league.

Granted, the Wizards are playing in Los Angeles in the second game of a back-to-back, so it's unlikely they even come away from this with a moral victory, much less an actual. It's still fun to dream, though, and this should at the very least be one of their more entertaining games of the season.

Here's everything you absolutely need to know about tonight's game.

Where and When? Tip off is at 10:30 p.m. at the Staples Center. CSN is televising.

Are They Good? Yes, you could say that. The 31-9 Clippers have the NBA's fourth best offense, fourth best defense and the NBA's second best record.

Why Should I Care? The Clippers are a lot of fun to watch and the Wizards are actually decent. Washington has won four of their last five games and seems to be turning things around now that John Wall and Nene are in the lineup together.

Who's Out? Cartier Martin is out for Washington, while Chauncey Billups and Trey Thompkins are out for LA. Chris Paul is questionable, too, although his backup, Eric Bledsoe, is so good that the Clippers will be good anyways. Also, while Bradley Beal is expected to play, he took a brutal fall during the Nuggets game last night and it wouldn't be surprising if he has some soreness in his arm and shoulder.

What Are They Good At? The Clippers have the best pick and roll game since Amar'e Stoudemire had knees and Steve Nash was an MVP. There are plenty of stats to back this up, but it's probably not even worth it to bring up evidence of just how deadly it is when you combine Paul and Bledsoe with powerful, mobile dunkers like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Los Angeles' guard play is also excellent on its own. Jamal Crawford is having a career year, Bledsoe can play multiple positions at a high level, CP3 is the best point guard on the planet and Chauncey Billups could conceivably contribute once he comes back.

What Are They Bad At? Los Angeles is weak on the wings, with Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Grant Hill not contributing as much as several of their teammates. Worse yet, all of these players are old and declining, rapidly in the case of Odom and Butler, and could be the team's Achilles heel in May. The bright spot on the wings is Matt Barnes, a guy who's performed almost exactly like James Posey for his entire career.

More: Clips Nation.