The new-look Minnesota Timberwolves will be playing host to the mighty LA Clippers on Saturday night as they look to break their 13-game losing streak.
D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans and James Johnson should all be available to play on Saturday. Evan Turner, who was acquired as part of the four-team, 12-player deal completed late on Tuesday, is reportedly negotiating a buyout with the Wolves.
The Wolves just lost to the Clippers in Los Angeles last Saturday by 12 points and have since dropped games to both the Kings and the Hawks. The Clippers won home games against the Spurs and Heat and are kicking off a four-game road trip on Saturday in Minneapolis.
LA might be a bit shorthanded, as it's unclear if new acquisition Marcus Morris will be available to play and former Clippers Jerome Robinson and Maurice Harkless were both shipped out prior to the deadline.
While the Wolves will have only gotten in a practice or two since the deadline, the pairing of Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns should be able to bring dynamic offensive production to the table from Day One. Now, the question is whether or not the Wolves will provide any defensive resistance whatsoever against Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and company.
Timberwolves odds against the Clippers
Tickets, TV and streaming info for Timberwolves vs. Clippers
- Television: Fox Sports North
- Radio: 830 WCCO
- Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options
- Tickets: StubHub offers ticketing options
What to watch for in Wolves vs. Clippers
Where to start?
Obviously the presence of Russell is the No. 1 thing to look forward to for Wolves fans. Of course, the entire rotation will be different, too.
Expect Juancho Hernangomez to start at the 4, although it remains to be seen if the backup minutes will primarily go to James Johnson or Jarred Vanderbilt. There's also Kelan Martin, who started at power forward on Wednesday against the Hawks.
Malik Beasley should start at the 2. That means that three of the Wolves' five starters will be different from the lineup that they trotted out in Wednesday's loss to the Hawks.
That said, the players guarding both George and Leonard will largely be the same guys who were tasked with job last weekend: Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver and Martin. Expect Johnson to get a shot as well, and Beasley will surely end up checking George at some point as well.
The Clippers will be without Patrick Beverley, who is out with a groin injury.
The Wolves should only be missing Jake Layman. They haven't released an official injury report for the game, but at this point it would be a surprise if Layman returned prior to the All-Star Break, although he has reportedly returned to practice.
We'll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy the start of the new era of Timberwolves basketball, ladies and gentlemen!