Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves / NBA – The Clippers and their fans are shaken after information that injury of their playmaker Chris Paul requires surgery and long recovery. They will face the guests from Minneapolis right after the news become official and that is where the Wolves see their chance, as the Clippers are not so dangerous without Paul and Griffin, so the guests are not without chance in Los Angeles. Begins: 20.01.2017 – 04:30 CET
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have a streak of even seven victories but they were shocked when Chris Paul (17.5 points, 9.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals) got injured in previous game. He urgently needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, after which comes six to eight week long recovery. Since Blake Griffin is still out of court it is a big blow for the Clippers, especially as it is known that they won just three out of 12 games in total played with Paul and Griffin being absent at the same time. Experienced Felton should replace Paul in the starting five, who averages this season circa 7 points and 2.3 assists.
The Clippers have already won the Wolves this season. It happened in min-November when they triumphed in Minneapolis 119-105. The Clippers were complete then, and Griffin was the best player with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Jordan added 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Paul had 19 points and 8 assists. LA Clippers are still undefeated in 2017; they won all seven games and with that they equalised the club record. They had two-day break before this game against the Wolves and that has perhaps helped coach Rivers to get a better look on the new situation and gave him time to find solution for Paul and Griffin absence (situation with Pierce is also unclear).
Probable lineups Los Angeles Clippers: Felton, Redick, Rivers, Mbah a Moute, Jordan
Minnesota had lost the first game against the Clippers but in certain moments it showed it quality and demonstrated possibility to resists on equal footing to the LA team. The Wolves are aware of all problems that the home team has and will try to use that to make a favourable result. They missed good shooting from the field in the first game, while Hack-a-Shaq tactic on centre Jordan didn’t pay off as he scored 10 free throws. Before the new game against the Clippers the Wolves lost to the Mavs and Spurs, while before that they had a streak of three wins. Their score is 14 wins and 28 defeats, while the Clippers’ is 29 wins and 14 defeats.
This is going to be third away game in a row for the Wolves, who are not exactly successful outside their arena this season as they won just 5 out of 20 games. What is perhaps important for Minnesota result is fact that they won just 4 out of 29 games in which they allowed their opponents to score over 100 points. That means they need good defence, but fact that they receive on average 104.3 points this season proves that their defence is porous. Team future is centred around Towns, Wiggins, LaVine, and Dune, while in coming day it is expected to finish trade that will allow them to get rid of play Rubie and bring new power forward or centre.
Probable lineups Minnesota Timberwolves: Rubio, LaVine, Wiggins, Dieng, Towns
Los Angeles Clippers – Minnesota Timberwolves PICK
Absence of Griffin and Paul will affect the Clippers in many ways. The Clippers are not even close of being the same team as they was before those injuries this is chance for the Wolves to make a good result, if now even to win the game, but for any case we would play with handicap on the visiting team.
Pick: Wolves +2.5 points
Odds: 1.86 at bet365 (down to 1.77 can be played)