The LA Clippers (33-30) look to bounce back at home against the skidding Minnesota Timberwolves (31-32) Tuesday night. Read on for our full preview of the Clippers’ game against the Timberwolves.

Clippers vs. Timberwolves Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California
When: 7 p.m. PT
How to Tune in: TNT, Bally Sports SoCal, ClipperVision, AM 570 KLAC, KTMZ

Projected Starting Lineups
LA Clippers: Russell Westbrook – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris Sr. – Ivica Zubac

Minnesota Timberwolves: Mike Conley – Anthony Edwards – Jaden McDaniels – Kyle Anderson – Rudy Gobert

Injury Report
LA Clippers:
 Brandon Boston Jr. – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Jason Preston – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Ivica Zubac – QUESTIONABLE (Right Calf Strain)

Minnesota Timberwolves: Rudy Gobert – PROBABLE (Illness), Wendell Moore Jr. – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Jaylen Nowell – QUESTIONABLE (Left Knee Tendinopathy), Karl-Anthony Towns – OUT (Right Calf Strain)

Update: The Clippers have upgraded Ivica Zubac (Right Calf Strain) to AVAILABLE.
Update No. 2: The Timberwolves have upgraded Rudy Gobert (Illness) to AVAILABLE and downgraded Jaylen Nowell (Left Knee Tendinopathy) to OUT.

The Big Picture

It’s been a rough stretch for the Clippers since the All-Star break, having dropped two nail-bitters in a row against teams directly above them in the Western Conference standings. Aside from the results simply not falling their way, the ways in which LAC lost — 175-176 vs. Sacramento and 124-134 at Denver — have been especially frustrating to watch. Regardless of how high or low you were on the addition of Russell Westbrook to the Clippers, it appears a dilemma has re-emerged that was a direct ripple effect from the signing: Tyronn Lue’s tinkering process. The Clippers are back to playing with a lot of flash and having little to show for it. Back to being competitive with the league’s best but lacking serious execution to put them away. Typically, losing close games to elite teams in the middle of the regular season shouldn’t be much to lose sleep about. But, with the Clippers remaining a shoulder’s distance away from leaving their fate in the hands of the Play-In Tournament for the second year in a row, there’s just no room to relax.

The Clippers, now 11-24 this season against teams .500 or better, once again appear to be too deep for their own good. Lue has gone back to the drawing board to figure out who to call on at the right times, and a lot of the guys seem to be struggling with finding their rhythm. It’s also worth mentioning that part of the issue has been health-related, with the absence of Ivica Zubac causing the Clips to hemorrhage points inside, and the precautionary minutes restriction of Paul George muddying up line changes as well. Ultimately, it appears the Clippers still have a puncher’s chance of finishing with homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Despite what has been a rocky showing so far this season from Ty Lue, the Clippers’ front office and locker room have put their faith in him to put the puzzle together once more — decisions needing to be made in a hurry that will make or break their season.

The Antagonist

With the regular-season series split 1-1 and the tiebreaker on the line, the Minnesota Timberwolves return to Downtown LA in hopes of ending their own losing skid. After fumbling down the stretch at home to the Washington Wizards heading into the break, the Wolves opened up their play with equally disappointing losses to the Charlotte Hornets and the Golden State Warriors (without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins).

The narrative following the Wolves as of late has been the lack of offensive firepower surrounding first-time All-Star Anthony Edwards, particularly after swapping D’Angelo Russell’s shotmaking for Mike Conley’s playmaking. Take away Karl-Anthony Towns’ 20.8 points per game and Russell’s 17.9 ppg, and the next highest scorer on average following Edwards is Rudy Gobert at 13.4 ppg. Ant-Man, who’s averaging a team-best 24.7 points per game, was held to 12 on 5-of-19 shooting (26.3%) at Chase Center on Sunday. Gobert has been better since Minnesota brought in his old buddy Conley at the trade deadline, but the two have notched one win in four tries so far together as Timberwolves. Towns, who suffered a right calf injury on Nov. 28, is reportedly in the “final stages” of ramping up to play again but remains without a definitive timetable to return. All of this is to say that, on paper at least, this should be the first “normal” offense that the new-look Clippers will face together after being thrown into the fire over the weekend. Make no mistake about it, however, this game has huge stakes lying on it with the standings and the Clippers absolutely need to take it.

Clippers vs. Timberwolves Game Notes

  • Go, Russ, Go: It is still much too early to speak confidently on the play of Russell Westbrook as a Clipper, but one thing is for sure: individually, he has not been the problem. Russ has overall taken a pretty calculated approach so far, setting up teammates, being aggressive to score when needed, and providing that downhill rim pressure that the Clippers were searching for. As the saying goes, three is a trend, and we will be watching to see how Russell continues to gel with LAC.
  • Spectating the Scorer’s Table: As was the story for the Clippers throughout the season, unfortunately, the addition of Russ seems to have created a minutes logjam once more. Just when you thought Marcus Morris Sr.’s minutes might be trending down, his fingerprints were all over the dreadful overtime period against the Nuggets. Westbrook, after fouling out in double-OT against the Kings, was benched after the third quarter in Denver despite putting together a nice game beforehand. Terance Mann is still not getting the minutes he deserves. Norman Powell, Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland aren’t sure when their numbers are going to be called, and for how long. #FreeRoCo has long been off the table. Heading into game No. 64, the Clippers are clearly still in experimentation mode, and there’s plenty of improvement to be had in this department.

Feel free to stick around and chat down below as this article’s comment section will serve as our live game thread tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sign up for a free account and join the conversation!

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Ralston Dacanay

Ralston Dacanay

Ralston joined 213Hoops as a game coverage writer in March 2021. A class of 2020 alum of California State University, Long Beach, he graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Finance.

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