Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards
4:00 p.m. PST
December 14, 2013
FOX Prime Ticket
1. Does John Wall have your All-Star vote?
Kyle Weidie, Truth About It, (@Truth_About_It): Yes. And even though the process of elimination helps (Rose, Rondo), Wall is doing a lot to earn it on his own merit. That said, there are still holes in his ability to lead. Randy Wittman recently questioned a carefree locker room before a bad loss to Milwaukee. Friday night in Atlanta, pictures and tweets of and about Wall being in the club past 2:30 am the night before surfaced while he was noticeably sluggish through 90 percent of the game. He later woke up and hit some hero shots to help the Wizards come back and push the game into overtime … where they lost on a last-second basket.
Jacob Frankel, (@jacob_frankel): Yes. He’s assisted by playing the miserable East, but has been playing really well too. Wall is a whirlwind in transition, might be the best corner three passer in the league, and his shooting range continues to extend.
Luke Laubhan, (@lukelaubhan): Yep. For one thing, he’s playing well enough to warrant the selection: 19.3 points, 9.2 assists (second in the league), 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals (third in the league) per game – that’s darn near a double-double. Plus, he plays in the Eastern Conference – I can’t vote for Rose or Rondo (both hurt), and he’s been more consistent than Kyrie and Deron Williams. Welcome to the Big Show, John.
2. DeAndre Jordan had a career-high 22 rebounds in Washington last year. Over/under 15 rebounds Saturday night.
Weidie: I’m going to say under, even if Nene doesn’t play. Marcin Gortat is decently mobile big man who has the technique to combat Jordan’s athleticism. That said, Jordan got his 22 against Emeka Okafor and Nene last year, so he’s more than a threat to get the over. Wait, what kind of odds am I getting again?
Frankel: Under. It’s a boring answer, but the Wizards are pretty average shooting and rebounding wise, and on average, Jordan doesn’t get 15 rebounds. Jordan’s jump in rebounding has been an underrated part of this Clippers season, though.
Laubhan: I’ll say over, but I don’t feel great about it. The Wizards top rebounders rank 21st and 63rd in the league, with Gortat and Nene averaging 9.1 and 6.2 rebounds respectively (Trevor Ariza also averages 6.2). DeAndre’s had six games so far with 15 or more rebounds, and theoretically, he won’t face much resistance on Saturday. But the road trip is wearing on, and rebounds require energy.
3. What can the Clippers do to get them out of their recent shooting slump?
Weidie: Why would I want them to do that?
//Play against the Wizards’ bench.
Frankel: Send J.J. Redick to Germany? Jokes aside, it’s weird how much the offense has struggled. The Clippers’ starters were great on offense last season and their struggles without Redick this season are a bit of a mystery to me. Waiting it out might be the only option.
Laubhan: Pray to the ghost of James Naismith for mercy, sweet mercy. The bench isn’t the answer; Byron Mullens, Stephen Jackson, and Antawn Jamison were never exactly sharpshooters, and neither is the recently elevated Willie Green. Who’s left? Crawford and Dudley, and all they can do is keep firing until Redick returns and lightens the load. If prayer doesn’t work, maybe Doc can bust out his tape measure.