Will Kawhi Leonard and Paul George Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs Atlanta Hawks: Injury Updates, Expected Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 01/26/2021, 12:30 PM EST
Jan 22, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket between LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


The LA Clippers begin their Eastern Conference road trip tonight as they face the Atlanta Hawks. They will go toe to toe at the State Farm Arena in Georgia, at 7:30 pm EST.

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The Clippers arrive in Atlanta on the back of a 7-game winning streak. Their most impressive result from that run was their 30-point blowout win against the Pacers. The Hawks lost their last game against the Bucks, which broke their 3-game winning run. That run was crucial for them as it helped to break their slump where they just had two wins in nine games.

LA Clippers expected lineup

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The Clippers have two huge losses for this game. Their superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been ruled out due to COVID-19 protocol. They also have Patrick Beverley out of the game because of a knee injury. So they will be without three of their starters.

Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates with forward Serge Ibaka (9) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during a timeout in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Their lineup could feature Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard as their guards, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris Sr. as their forwards, with Serge Ibaka as their center.

Atlanta Hawks expected lineup

The Hawks have four important players on the questionable list: Cam Reddish (Achilles), Clint Capela (hand), Danilo Gallinari (ankle), and Trae Young (back). But they are likely to feature tonight.

Jan 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) celebrates with teammates DeÕAndre Hunter (12) and John Collins (left) after a play against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

So they could have an unchanged lineup with Trae Young and Kevin Huerter as their guards, De’Andre Hunter and John Collins as their forwards, with Onyeka Okongwu as their center.

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Predictions

If George and Leonard were fit for the clash, the Clippers would have been the favorites easily. But without them, the Clippers are very weak. Both of them were having excellent campaigns so far, and without their scoring, the Clippers look like the second-best team. A win would have taken them back to the top of the Western Conference, but they are likely to stay second now.

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This will be an excellent chance for the Hawks to regain momentum with a win. They have a back-to-back game against the Nets tomorrow, so this will be a tremendous morale boost for them. Young and Capela’s return will spark them on both ends, and that should be enough for them to triumph over the Clippers.

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Aaron Mathew

1664 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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