Will Kawhi Leonard Play Tonight? Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Clippers: Injury News, Lineup & Predictions

January 16, 2021 2:00 am

The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Sacramento with a 2-game winning streak. They lie 2nd in the Western Conference Table (8-4 record) in contrast to the 12th position of their Pacific Division rivals (5-7 record).

Date: Friday 10 pm Eastern Standard Time

Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento

Preview | Sacramento Kings

After starting the season on a winning note with a 3-1 record, the Kings are back to their familiar losing territory. The Luke-Walton-coached team was looking like a playoff contender, but it looks like they may not banish their demons anytime soon.

However, the individual form of some of their key players is a positive. Buddy Hield is making history with Sacramento with threes made in a record consecutive 78 games. Can he continue that streak against the tight defense of the Clippers?

Predicted Starting 5 for the Sacramento Kings

Guard – Buddy Hield

GuardDe’Aaron Fox

Center – Richaun Holmes

Forward – Marvin Bagley III

Forward – Harrison Barnes

Preview | Los Angeles Clippers

Ah, the noisy neighbors of the Lakers. The Clippers are finding some good form right now, but they are still susceptible to that occasional flop. Not bucking the trend from their nightmare playoffs against the Nuggets, they surrendered a 22-point lead to GSW.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley (21) during the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

But the bigger concern for them coming into this game is the questionable fitness of Lou Williams. His hip has been bothering him and he was restricted to just nine minutes against the Pelicans. It might make sense to have him rest for this encounter against an unfancied opponent.

Also, Kawhi Leonard may take the night off as well. The ‘Klaw’ is notorious for his load management hypothesis. But since this allows him to peak in the playoffs, Ty Lue may not bat an eyelid.

Predicted Starting 5 for the Los Angeles Clippers

Guard – Patrick Beverley

Guard – Paul George

CenterSerge Ibaka

Forward – Nicolas Batum

Forward – Marcus Morris Sr.

Pick | Kings vs Clippers

It is hard to pick anyone but the Clippers as the favorite for this matchup. Even without the likes of Leonard and Williams, they are likely to emerge victorious, and most of that will be down to the way that Paul George has been playing.

Jan 8, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) drives to the basket past Toronto Raptors guard Malachi Flynn (8) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Totally counting the Kings may not so smart, but in hindsight, it is hard to see any other winner.

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Bharat Aggarwal

Bharat Aggarwal works as a multi-sports author for EssentiallySports. His interests in sports include but are not limited to NBA and Formula 1. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of commerce, Delhi University. He has previously worked as a sports copywriter and social media handler for Multiple Cricket gaming apps.

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