Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Clippers Preview (12/14/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the rest of the Los Angeles Clippers host the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night for a Western Conference showdown. Neither of these teams has had the start to the 2022-23 season that they would like, but there is still plenty of time to turn it around. Get the projected starting lineups, relevant injury news for both teams, current odds, and game predictions below.

Minnesota Timberwolves Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds

Minnesota enters this matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers as six-point road dogs. The Timberwolves still don’t have Karl Anthony-Towns back from his calf injury; he’s expected to be out until late December or early January. Additionally, Taurean Prince will be unavailable for Minnesota. The Clippers finally have Kawhi Leonard healthy. However, they will be without sixth-man Norman Powell for the foreseeable future.

Minnesota Timberwolves Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

The first third of the 2022-23 regular season hasn’t been as smooth as the Los Angeles Clippers would have liked. They are 16-13 after being a preseason favorite to win the 2023 NBA Championship. Most of their problems can be attributed to health and chemistry issues; Kawhi Leonard has missed a large portion of the season thus far, Paul George has missed multiple games, and Norman Powell is out right now with no timetable for return.

Luckily, the Clippers have been able to get by despite an inconsistent offense and lineup. Los Angeles ranks fifth in defensive rating and fourth in opponent points per game. Additionally, Leonard and George are back in the lineup, even if they haven’t looked quite like themselves. It still hasn’t mattered, as their presence is enough to elevate the rest of the team. The bottom line: when Leonard is playing, Los Angeles is 7-2 and has a net rating of 5.3, while it boasts a poor net rating of -3.6 without him.

Since Kawhi is back in the lineup, and Minnesota still will be without KAT, this pick is a no-brainer to me. The Clippers go from a below-average team to a potentially title-contending squad in terms of net rating when he is on the floor. Ivica Zubac matches up well with Rudy Gobert, as does Paul George with Anthony Edwards. I’ll take the Clippers against the spread.

Betting Trends

  • Minnesota is 5-8 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Los Angeles is 6-8 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 23-33 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in this game between the Timberwolves and Clippers belongs to Anthony Edwards and Paul George. Edwards and George are two of the best shooting guards in the NBA, boasting an infinite arsenal of moves and elite scoring prowess. Take a look at which player has the advantage here.

Anthony Edwards vs. Paul George

Regarding perimeter wing defenders, Paul George is one of the best in the NBA. Any avid hoops fan with a good eye can tell that. Popular defensive statistics like steals and blocks don’t always tell the story for George; he’s averaging merely 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. However, PG13 leads the entire NBA in deflections per game. It’s hard for players to get any offensive momentum against George due to his hand speed, defensive IQ, lateral quickness, and anticipatory skills.

The players that fare the best against PG13 are tough shot-makers, and Anthony Edwards is undoubtedly that. Still, I haven’t seen enough improvement from Edwards this year to see him popping off against such an elite defender (and defense) in what could be considered a relatively meaningless game, and he doesn’t alwaysbhave as much interest in those. Advantage: George.

Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Anthony Edwards
SF: Kyle Anderson
PF: Jaden McDaniels
C: Rudy Gobert

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineups

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Paul George
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Marcus Morris Sr
C: Ivica Zubac

Key Injuries

Minnesota Timberwolves Injuries: Taurean Prince (Out), Karl Anthony-Towns (Out), Jordan McLaughlin (Q)

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Norman Powell (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

Hot NBA Matchup Previews Stories