Will Kawhi Leonard Play Tonight? Clippers vs Timberwolves Injury Updates, Lineup and Predictions

Published 12/29/2020, 2:30 PM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball as Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) guards in the third quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Clippers have had a mixed start to their NBA season. They won their first two games against their city rivals and the Nuggets. Then they suffered one of the most embarrassing losses the NBA has ever seen after being beaten 124-73 by the Mavs.

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What made the loss more embarrassing was that the Clippers still had a superstar in Paul George in the starting lineup. They also had all their role players available, but still lost it by such a big margin.

The Clippers will look to bounce back to their winning ways as they face off against the Timberwolves. The Wolves, on the other hand, have had a solid start to their season. They have won the first two games and suffered their first loss in a blowout 127-91 loss to the Lakers.

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The Timberwolves will look to continue their good run of form, but doing that against the Clippers will be tough.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves–Injury and Lineup Updates 

Clippers

The LA Clippers missed their star Kawhi Leonard dearly against the Mavericks. Without Kawhi, the team seemed clueless and were inefficient, both offensively as well as defensively.

‘The Klaw’ suffered from a nasty mouth injury after he collided with teammate Serge Ibaka. Clippers’ coach Ty Lue in yesterday’s press conference said that the decision to include Leonard in the game will be made just before the game and has not given any updates since. His inclusion in today’s match is doubtful.

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

Their go-to shooter, Marcus Morris, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, is also out of the Mavs game. He has been listed as out in the injury list, meaning we might not see him on the court for today’s match.

Owing to the stacked fixture list, the Clippers might not include Leonard and give their superstar the necessary time to recover to full strength.

Possible Lineup

Patrick Beverley (G)

Luke Kennard (G)

Paul George (F)

Nicolas Batum (F)

Serge Ibaka (C)

Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves suffered their first loss at the hands of the champions LA Lakers. They were missing their superstar center, Karl Anthony Towns on the floor.

Dec 26, 2020; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jarrett Culver (23) dunks the ball on a breakaway in the second quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves released a statement before the Lakers’ game, revealing that their star had suffered from a dislocated wrist against the Jazz. As per ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 6’11 center is expected to miss several games.

Apart from Towns, no other casualties have been reported by the Timberwolves. The Wolves should prefer to start with Anthony Edwards in place of Jake Layman. Edwards has been impressive and can add the offensive boost needed to D’Angelo Russell in the absence of Towns.

Possible Lineup

D’Angelo Russell (G)

Malik Beasley (G)

Anthony Edwards (F)

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Josh Okogie (F)

Naz Ried (C)

Predictions

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Both the Clippers and the Timberwolves missed their talisman in their first loss. However, the Clippers roster possesses superior experience and quality, which makes them the favorites. If Kawhi does play, the Clippers are easy favorites. But if he doesn’t we might be in for a close match.

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Aditya Mohapatra

692 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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