Will Kawhi Leonard Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs New York Knicks: Predictions, Injuries, & Lineups

Published 05/09/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Feb 7, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks speaks with Julius Randle #30 during the game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on February 07, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Mike Stobe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


The Clippers are replicating their run from the last season, sitting at #3 and still holding a chance to climb up. As their EC counterpart, the Knicks, have lost their hope of breaking into the top 3, but they still have a job and that is to stay ahead of the Hawks.

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Now, the downside for the LA-based franchise is that all of their six wins in the last 10 games have come against teams below them in the standings. They’ve lost their battles against top teams like the Nuggets, Suns, and Sixers. While this is not good for their NBA Finals intentions, can they break the Knicks’ fighting spirit?

Clippers vs Knicks: Injury updates and lineup prediction

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Jan 8, 2021; Serge Ibaka shoots the ball ahead of the Warriors bench at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers had already lost shooting guard Jay Scrubb to his foot injury. Now, they have the former Raptor center Serge Ibaka (foot) and guard Amir Coffey (Covid) listed out for the Sunday night game. 

Probable line-up: Patrick Beverley (PG), Paul George (SG), Kawhi Leonard (SF), Marcus Morris Sr. (PF), and Ivica Zubac (C)

For the Knicks, apart from center Mitchell Robinson (foot surgery), only guard Luca Vildoza is listed out. Apart from them, star shooting guards Immanuel Quickley (ankle) and Alec Burks (knee) are both doubtful. 

Possible starting five: Elfrid Payton (PG), Reggie Bullock (SG), RJ Barrett (SF), Julius Randle (PF), and Nerlens Noel (C)

Read also – ‘Never Washing This Hand’: Julius Randle’s Mom Narrates a Touching Kobe Bryant Tale

Who wins?

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As of now, the Clippers are 1-0 against the Knicks in this season. In their last outing, it was more of a Kawhi Leonard vs Julius Randle, where the former tasted the win. However, the Knicks of today are different from those in January and hence a turn of events can be expected. The NY-based franchise is just 0.5 games ahead of the Hawks, and they’d like to stretch that lead further. However, although both Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are posting decent numbers, the team has recently shown some slowness in clutch time.

Next, Paul George is increasingly becoming dangerous at his offense, and his outings against the Lakers and Raptors are proof. Also, when The Claw was out due to his injury, it was the 7x All-Star who kept the Clippers afloat. In recent times, Tyronn Lue’s side has shown grit in the decisive quarter and that has made all the difference. On top of that is their depth, which makes them a huge favorite.

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So we predict a win for the Clippers. What do you predict? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1266 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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