John Wall has never beaten Blake Griffin in five tries – and no matter what, he won’t get a chance on Monday as the Wizards host the Los Angeles Clippers at Verizon Center. Griffin was a late scratch with a strained left hamstring.
But Wall still has some unfinished business since he has never defeated his former Kentucky backcourt mate Eric Bledsoe since the two players entered the league in 2010.
Wall and Bledsoe will have a chance to engage in a one-on-one duel on Monday with Chris Paul also missing his eight consecutive game because of a bruised right knee cap.
Paul had 22 points and 12 assists and made a critical jumper over Wall when the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Wizards, 94-87, on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles. The Wizards (11-35) have lost eight straight games overall to the Clippers, who have lost two in a row and six of eight overall.
After winning seven of 10 – including six of Wall’s first nine games – Washington has also lost four in a row and is coming off a winless three-game trip through Philadelphia, Memphis and San Antonio. The next three games are at home against playoff contenders, with New York and Brooklyn coming later this week.
“The importance is, getting back to the way we were,” Coach Randy Wittman said of the homestand. “We lost a little bit of that on our trip. This team has to play a style of play that conducive of all five guys playing together. We don’t that player that we can give the ball to and say, ‘Give us 35 tonight. Carry us.’ That’s not a knock on them. That’s just the make up of our team. When we play that way, we’re very good. But when we don’t and try to do too many things like I’m going to take over and carry the team, we get ourselves in trouble. Whether you’re home or not, it’s getting back to that team we had a couple of weeks ago.”
When asked by the Wizards reverted to their old ways, WIttman responded, “Human nature is a [expletive]. It happens. You get to feeling good about yourself and you maybe lose sight of why you’re feeling good about yourself. We’ve got to get back to a lot of ball movement, a lot of player movement.”
Bradley Beal will miss his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right wrist.
Discuss tonight’s game in the comment section below and don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter with @MrMichaelLee.
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)