Will Kawhi Leonard Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans – Team News, Lineups, and Prediction

Published 03/14/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Mar 11, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket as he is defended by Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


LA Clippers take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. The Clippers have been in decent form this season. They have the fourth seed in the Western Conference and look to be one of the main challengers to reach the NBA Finals. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been fantastic this season, with both receiving All-Star nominations this year.

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The New Orleans Pelicans, on the other hand, have been struggling. Currently, the Pelicans have the 10th seed in the Western Conference. New Orleans will be looking to solidify a playoff position going into the second half of the season. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are also playing at a high level this season, with Zion becoming an All-Star for the first time.

With that in mind, let us preview the LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans game tonight.

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LA Clippers – Team News

Feb 2, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Clippers small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) knocks a pass away from Brooklyn Nets power forward Jeff Green (8) in front of Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson (1) and Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Clippers are struggling with some injuries right now. Star defender Patrick Beverley is out for the Clippers’ upcoming road trip. Furthermore, Daniel Oturu and Jay Scrubb are also unavailable. However, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be available for the Clippers tonight.

Predicted Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka

New Orleans Pelicans – Team News

Feb 12, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are relatively unscathed from injuries. JJ Reddick will be unavailable for the injury. However, the rest of the team is fully available and ready to go. Zion Williamson has returned after a strong showing in the All-Star game. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will also be available.

Predicted Lineup: Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Steven Adams

LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans – Prediction

Jan 15, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) high fives guard-forward Nicolas Batum (33) after a play against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers have been a very strong team so far. Currently, they are on a bit of a roll. However, the loss of Patrick Beverley could be a significant blow. Beverley is a key part of the Clippers’ defense. And given the offensive options available to the Pelicans, the Clippers could struggle against them.

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Prediction: LA Clippers pull off a tight win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Who will win between the Clippers and the Pelicans? Both teams need a win as they make a push for a high seed going into the playoffs. Furthermore, neither team can afford a loss given how competitive the Western Conference is currently. It should be an exciting game, given the stakes on the line.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1183 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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