Game Information

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

When: 5:00 PM PT

How to Watch: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570

Projected Starting Lineups

Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell – Jarrett Culver – Josh Okogie – Juancho Hernangomez – Karl-Anthony Towns

Clippers: Landry Shamet – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac

Injuries

Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell Questionable (Trade), James Johnson Questionable (Trade), Omari Spellman Questionable (Trade), Jacob Evans III Questionable (Trade), Jake Layman Out (Toe)

Clippers: Patrick Beverley Out (Groin), Marcus Morris Questionable (Trade)

The Big Picture

The Clippers have won three games in a row, and have been fantastic all year with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the lineup. Holding steady as the second seed in the Western Conference, the Clippers are still building chemistry as they get healthier, though they will now have to integrate a new major piece in Marcus Morris. The Clippers will need to maintain their health and develop a higher level of execution down the stretch of the season, but now that their roster has been finalized (barring buyout pickups), they should be able to pull together a little bit more. Trade rumors always have an impact on teams, and it seems like the Clips could make a run the next couple months with all that behind them.

The Antagonist

The Wolves have been dreadful this year, and have lost 13 games in a row. Since last summer, they’ve turned over every single roster spot outside of Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie, which says a lot about the state of their roster. They made several huge moves at the trade deadline, shipping out much of their roster for D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, James Johnson, Omari Spellman, and Jacob Evans III. Beasley and Hernangomez will be active tonight, but the other four are all questionable due to paperwork and physicals. The Wolves have been desperate to keep Karl-Anthony Towns happy, and bringing in Russell, one of Towns’ friends, is huge in that regard. Similarly, finally shipping out Andrew Wiggins will be huge for a team that was stuck to a “franchise player” who was not a particularly good NBA player. The Wolves still won’t be very good this year, as they’re young and have few positive defenders, but Russell and Towns should make for some fun offense at least.

Notes

Shaky Lineups: The first game after the trade deadline is always weird in the NBA, especially for teams who have made big moves (like both these teams have). It usually takes a couple days for trades to process fully, and therefore players often aren’t available right away. Even when they are, the new guys have had no practice time or experience with their teams, and it’s very tough to play in that way. If Morris doesn’t play, the Clippers will have a big hole on the wing – will they start JaMychal Green or Patrick Patterson at the four, or shift Kawhi up and start both Shamet and Lou Williams? The Timberwolves traded away much of their roster, and its questionable how many players they will even have in uniform tonight. Both teams will therefore be shorthanded, and weird stuff can happen in such cases. However, the Clippers will still have Kawhi and Paul George, and should therefore have a big advantage.

Farewell to Jerome: Lost in all the Marcus Morris buzz has been the departure of Jerome Robinson. Robinson, a lottery pick of the Clips in 2018, was a hot topic for Clippers fans. Some wanted him to get more minutes, and believed his development (or lack thereof) to be another failure of Doc Rivers and his distrust of youngsters. Others thought he was a valueless NBA player, and couldn’t wait to get rid of him. It was unfortunate, but Robinson was overshadowed throughout his rookie season by the vastly superior Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and was unable to get going this year despite several opportunities in the rotation. It’s probably very good that he will be able to move on and get a chance elsewhere, and few teams will present more opportunities than the young and bad Wizards, who are desperate to find real pieces to put around Bradley Beal. Good luck to Jerome, who was a hard worker and showed real improvements this year despite his inability to shoot.

Keep tuned for updates regarding the availability of players, and follow along here or on the forum throughout the game!

12 Comments

  • Avatar lobc1t1 says:

    Ok, Clips! Let’s try not to make this a close one.

  • Avatar Matt The Pirate says:

    I am so drastically less excited about this team with Jerome gone … but my lifelong Clippers gene will eventually kick in and bring me back to reality.

    That said. I am excited for Jerome getting to a team that appears to be pretty excited about and in need of his services. … No Doubt, his shooting will eventually have to come around, but I think that is more a product of short minutes than actual inability. Microwaving off the bench is a skill (See Lou) and Jerome, as good a shooter as he HAS BEEN, does not have that skill (or at least, does not have that skill at this juncture of his career.)

    On the bright side. I have always liked Sham and look forward to paying more attention to him. The Marcus Morris trade is not my favorite, only because character wise, the Morris Twins or at least, Markief have been a question mark. … That Said, I can’t deny if I put my objective hat on, I actually think the Clippers knocked it out of the park. IF, Morris plays defense with the Clips the way he is capable. … I think Mo had real value for us even if he is severely less skilled offensively compared to Morris.

    I’ll be rooting for Morris big time IF he comes in humble and ready to go to work. I think he will.

    From a (Please Kawhi and Paul) by getting tough about going for it all. No doubt, they signed off on Morris and as such, if they piss and moan a year from now and leave, that is on them. I think the org has made a great move here that essentially puts them in the drivers seat to re-sign both after next season IF everything goes well, which it well so long as we are healthy. I am someone who DOES NOT think a Championship is a necessity to re-sign these guys. We do, however, need to at least threaten the finals NEXT YEAR.

    Too Wordy, .. but whatever. Looking Forward to tonight’s game. Looking forward to seeing Jerome kick some ass in Washington, which HE WILL. Trust me.

    • Avatar BelgianClipper says:

      I think Jerome just became the victim of the accelerated timeline. Let’s hope a more relaxed environment will help him get back on the right track.

      • Avatar osamu says:

        I’m honestly a little worried Jerome will find his shot, and live up to some of the potential. I mean even in the G-league he was hitting 40%, so it’s not like he couldn’t adjust to the NBA 3-pt line.

        He still has good looking form and literally taken 124 3-pt shots in his career. If 10-15 of those fall, we might be talking about him completely differently.

        Or he’ll end up being the next CJ Wilcox.

    • Avatar Minion94 says:

      Its hard for any player regardless of their situation to be traded, their whole life being uprooted. Definitely agree he’ll have less pressure on him and honestly being able to play through his mistakes will be interesting to see. Wish him and the Wizards the best of luck.

  • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

    No D’Angelo tonight!

  • Avatar Sean Fekete says:

    Finally made it over here! Go Clippers!!!! Excited to see what Morris will bring. I haven’t really seen him play this season.

  • Avatar LeeB3 says:

    Now let’s get Reggie!!!!!

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    All in! Clippers and Lakers have cashed in all their chips! I cannot wait for the Playoffs to begin; want everyone to be healthy on both squads. Good luck to Jerome, seems like a solid dude.
    I agree with Matt that I’m a little concerned about Marcus Morris, but hopefully, like Jerome, a new team presents a new opportunity.

  • Avatar ChrisD says:

    is this the game thread? where in the forum are we supposed to follow along per the article?

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    Damn! Those limegreen uniforms for Minn are like our Kryptonite!