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Wesley Johnson Out vs Timberwolves With Bruised Left Heel

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The Clippers will be missing their backup forward.

NBA: Preseason-Los Angeles Clippers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports, Clippers backup forward Wesley Johnson will miss tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a bruised left heel. Any long-term timetable for this injury is murky at this point.

Johnson has been playing mostly power forward this season, as three-guard lineups with Raymond Felton, Austin Rivers, and Jamal Crawford take over the bench. While he’s shooting just 28.6% from deep so far this season, Johnson’s eventual role will be to space the floor offensively while using his length and athleticism to contribute as a team defender.

In Wesley’s absence, Doc Rivers will need to turn to his depth. He’ll likely activate Diamond Stone, but one of the veterans is more likely to nab minutes. I’d expect, given that the minutes are coming at the power forward position, that Doc will either turn to Brandon Bass or Paul Pierce. Bass is clearly the superior player at this point in his career, but Pierce’s floor-spacing might, in theory, make him easier to plug into Wesley’s role. Hopefully we’ll see Bass get some chances with the second unit tonight. Alan Anderson is also a candidate for a look, but it’s unlikely that he’ll receive more than rare spot minutes at the PF position—he’s really more of a wing player than a combo forward.