The Los Angeles Clippers are in Minnesota on Wednesday night looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. They are coming off losses against the Boston Celtics, 119-115, and Sacramento Kings, 113-110, at home going into tonight. The Clippers can’t go losing against the Kings at home if they want to be taken seriously in the West.
Everything will work out fine for the Clippers by the time the end of the season rolls around, but the general public has no patience, and they’re not going to give the Clippers much respect over that performance. Overreaction to a bad stretch just seems to go with the territory in the NBA. Despite two sloppy games from the Bucks, they are 17-8 on the season and third in the NBA.
The Clippers are three games behind the Utah Jazz for top honors in the Western Conference. The Jazz won again last night, and continue to be one of the best bets in the NBA. The media and oddsmakers have been undervaluing the Jazz, but a 122-108 win over the Celtics for their 16th win in the last 17 outings should turn some heads. If the Lakers were on this run you’d never hear the end of it.
When the dust settles, I don’t know if the Jazz are winning the West, though. It’s easy to see them going to the Western Conference Finals, but getting further than that? I’m not so sure, but the Jazz certainly command respect. If the Clippers slip up against the Timberwolves tonight, oh jeez it’s going to be an relentless attack from Lakers’ fans on social media.
They won’t be playing at 100% tonight, as Paul George is scheduled to miss another game on Wednesday. George is out at least two more games with the Clippers. The good news is that Patrick Beverley is nearing a return ahead of this road trip. Beverley is travelling with the team and is listed as questionable on the injury report to play against the Timberwolves.
Before everyone starts piling on the Clippers, they are a much better team at full strength with George and Beverley in the lineup. That goes without saying, so I wouldn’t worry too much about their two losses. It isn’t a sign of things to come for the Clippers. The Timberwolves are coming off a hard-fought 127-122 loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. They head into Wednesday with a record of 6-18. Karl-Anthony Towns is getting closer to a return, but unlikely for tonight. Head below for our free Clippers vs. Timberwolves pick on February 10, 2021.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Betting Odds:
Clippers vs. Timberwolves Prediction:
The Clippers looked sloppy in losses against the Celtics, and most recently the Kings on Sunday. Lou Williams wasn’t to blame for that loss, as he had a productive outing with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Kawhi Leonard recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards, but could have played better against a team like the Kings. Leonard can score 20 points by just showing up and going through the motions.
With a three-game losing streak staring the Clippers down, I’m expecting a hungrier Leonard on Wednesday night. I doubt he lays down tonight against the Timberwolves. There is likely going to be some motivation for him and the rest of the Clippers to not drop three games in a row, against the Timberwolves no less.
They’re a top-5 squad on both sides of the floor, and are fully capable of winning games with their offense and defense. The Clippers are good at adapting to their opponent when they want to play. Through 25 games this season, the Clippers have scored an average of 114.8 points per game.
Their defense has been in good form as well, with 107.8 points conceded per contest for fifth in the league. There hasn’t been any noticeable drop off on the road for the Clippers. They’ve netted 114.9 points a game, and allowed 106.7 points as a visiting team. In other words, the Clippers’ defense has travelled this season.
They have been solid with a record of 9-4 on the road. As I noted, the Clippers are good at having the ability to adjust and exploit weaknesses of the opposition. When it comes to the Timberwolves, they don’t do anything particularly well, so the Clippers can choose whatever game plan they’d like.
The Timberwolves are 26th in the NBA, with an average of 115.5 points conceded, and 26th offensively with 107.5 points per game. The cupboard isn’t empty in Minnesota. They have Ricky Rubio, D’Angelo Russell, and Karl-Anthony Towns, but chemistry between the three has been hard to develop with KAT absent.
I’m afraid for the Timberwolves that they are going to run into an angry Clippers team on Wednesday. They are looking to take their recent frustration out on somebody, and the 6-18 Timberwolves just happen to be there for them. I’m backing the Clippers to win by double digits in Minnesota on Wednesday evening.