Will Kawhi Leonard Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Prediction, Injury Updates, and Lineups

Published 04/18/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Mar 15, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket as Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers will host one of the worst teams in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves, at the STAPLES Center. While the Timberwolves seem to be finding a rhythm, their 15 wins this season have them sitting in 14th place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Clippers sit in the third spot with 39 wins.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

LA will be missing star player Kawhi Leonard (foot), who is listed as a game-time decision. But the likely outcome is that the Clips exercise caution and rest their star. Along with Leonard, Serge Ibaka (back), and Patrick Beverley (hand) will be out for this game.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Timberwolves may have gotten D’Angelo Russel back to fitness, but will miss rising guard Malik Beasley (hamstring). He isn’t expected to return before the second week of May, so this may take a while. Along with him, Jaylen Nowell (leg) may miss the game as a game-time decision.

But how will the two teams line up for this game, and who takes the win?

LA Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Predicted lineups

Dec 23, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) hugs guard D’Angelo Russell (0) following the game against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves are expected to line up with Ricky Rubio, Josh Okogie, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, and Karl-Anthony Towns. D’Angelo Russel may make his return to the starting lineup, but it seems like he may continue to serve as an energetic sixth man this season.

The Clippers will line up with Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., and Ivica Zubac.

Does LA solidify their push for a top seed?

The Clippers are fighting to become the one seed in the West. While they sit 3.5 games behind the Utah Jazz, they just lost Donovan Mitchell for a few weeks. So facing a team like Minnesota, who are ranked at the bottom of the conference, will come with the expectations of a win.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Feb 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) is defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

However, the Timberwolves have found a new rhythm after Karl-Anthony Towns found his old form. Meanwhile, Anthony Edwards is becoming the front-runner in the ROTY race. Paul George for the Clippers is also on a great run, but his ability to close games continues to be questioned.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

For a prediction, we will go with the Clippers. These are the kinds of games championship contenders cannot afford to lose. The Clippers have the pieces in place despite being short-handed. This Wolves team is still finding their identity and may have a hard time here.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT