Will Kawhi Leonard & Paul George Return Tonight? LA Clippers vs Miami Heat: Preview, Lineups & Predictions

Published 02/15/2021, 2:00 PM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is tended to after an injury during a play in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


The underdogs Miami Heat travel to Los Angeles in a bid to strengthen their playoff push. The LA Clippers lie at the 3rd place in the Western Conference Table with a 20-8 record, while their rivals are at the 9th place in the East with an 11-15 record.

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Date & Time: February 15, 2021, 10pm ET

Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles

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Jan 29, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; LA Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) shoots against Orlando Magic forward James Ennis III (11) and guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Preview | LA Clippers

The injuries are beginning to mount for them now. Paul George has not taken to court for the last five games, and he will continue to sit this out as well with a foot injury.

To make matters worse, Kawhi Leonard is also less than likely to feature after missing the win against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a foot contusion.

On the bright side, the role players stepped up big time in their absence. Lou Williams, instated into the starting lineup, recorded his season-best 30 points while Marcus Morris had 23 from the bench himself.

This will please Ty Lue as it highlights their deep bench strength, which will be handy come playoff time. But this Miami team is a bigger test than the Cavs. So, that will give us an even better assessment of how the others can cope up without their two biggest stars.

The Underground GOAT had it goin' tonight. @TeamLou23 earns our @Kia Performance of the Game. pic.twitter.com/FQK2aM9bfQ

— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 15, 2021

Starting 5 for the LA Clippers

Guard – Patrick Beverley

Guard – Lou Williams

Center – Serge Ibaka

Forward – Nicolas Batum

Forward – Reggie Jackson

Preview | Miami Heat

The Miami Heat were on a tear, winning four consecutive games before succumbing to the Utah Jazz. However, losing to the current best team in the NBA won’t dent their spirits. Led by Jimmy Butler, they will look to take advantage of a short-handed Clippers team.

But, Goran Dragic won’t be able to join the party. He remains out with an ankle sprain. So, Kendrick Nunn will continue to feature in the starting lineup.

Feb 9, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) smiles after laying on the court during the second half against the New York Knicks at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Starting 5 for the Miami Heat

Guard – Kendrick Nunn

Guard – Duncan Robinson

Center – Bam Adebayo

Forward – Kelly Olynyk

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Forward – Jimmy Butler

Predictions | Clippers vs Heat

If the likes of George and Leonard were playing, the Clippers would have been the clear favorites. But considering their absence and Miami’s resurgence of late, they will head into this NBA clash as equals. It will be interesting to watch as it could be anyone’s game.

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Bharat Aggarwal

615 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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