The word to remember about this game is: streak. And no, that doesn't stay steak.
Last time the Wizards met the Clippers - Dec. 12 at the Verizon Center - Washington snapped LA's nine game winning streak in a 104-96 win.
Now, the Wizards roll into the Clippers' house on a five game winning streak, looking to keep theirs alive while ending L.A.'s two game one.
When and where? Damn you, West Coast games. Tip is at 10:30 pm. from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Watch on CSN Washington or join the 99.1 FM #radioparty.
Who's out? Kris Humphries is still out for the Wizards, Garrett Temple is listed as day to day (hamstring), as is John Wall after spraining his ankle in Wednesday's victory over Utah. Jamal Crawford is out for the Clippers; Matt Barnes and Jordan Hamilton are listed as day to day.
Let's compare. The Clippers, are 44-25 are a pretty damn good team. In fact, they sit in fifth place in the Western Conference and mirror a lot of what the Wizards have to offer. At home, they're 25-10; the Wizards are 25-10 and vs. the East, they are 15-11; vs. the West, the Wizards are 15-10. Against .500 teams and above, the Clippers are 18-21, while the Wizards are 12-20.
John Wall vs. Chris Paul. Bradley Beal vs. J.J. Redick. Nene vs. Blake Griffin. Marcin Gortat vs. DeAndre Jordan. This will be quite the matchup.
Pierce vs. old boss: Over the summer, many expected Paul Pierce to reunite with Doc Rivers on the Clippers, including Paul Pierce himself, as he told David Aldridge:
I thought I probably would end up with the Clippers with Doc [Rivers], but they wound up signing Spencer Hawes [and using the full mid-level exception] at the time. That's when Sam Cassell gave me a call, shortly after Trevor Ariza signed with Houston. That kind of happened so fast. He signed, and Sam called me, and [asked] what I thought. We both were in Vegas at the time, talking on the phone. Then met him for lunch. Then met him again for dinner. It took some convincing, because I never really thought about Washington. It just wasn't on my radar. But I started thinking about it, and everything he was telling me, based on what they did last year, the guys they have here, he talked about the culture, he talked about Coach [Randy Wittman], Ernie [Grunfeld, the GM], talked to him. And I started warming up to the idea. Pretty much that same day we talked, I started warming up. This team does have some potential, now that I think about it. They probably should have beat Indiana. Everybody thought they should have beat Indiana. I was like, they have one of the best backcourts in basketball. They're lacking experience, a guy in the locker room and on the court that can help end games. I was like, I probably can fit in. After LeBron said he was going back to Cleveland, the dynamics of the Eastern Conference, with Indiana, I was like, this is a team that could be in the Eastern Conference finals, or possibly the Finals, based on what's here. And adding me to some of the other veterans they added, I was like, why not?
Oddly, Sam Cassell, one of the key figures in pushing Pierce towards Washington ended up with the Clippers later that summer, and Howard Eisley, who had been with the Clippers, wound up in Washington.