Clippers’ Tyronn Lue: Integrating Harden, Leonard, George, Westbrook Has Been ‘Hard’

Clippers’ Tyronn Lue: Integrating Harden, Leonard, George, Westbrook Has Been ‘Hard’
zach bacharContributor IDecember 3, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 30:  James Harden #1 of the LA Clippers & Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the LA Clippers looks on during the game on November 30, 2023 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged the challenge of balancing the minutes of the team’s four marquee players following a 113-112 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

“It’s been pretty hard,” Lue admitted, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “But I’m built for it. I love this team. I love our roster … It’s my job to figure it out as well as our four guys just figuring it out as well.”

The Clippers entered the season with All-Stars Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook on the roster before adding James Harden in a blockbuster trade on Oct. 30.

Despite the past individual success of each player, the combination of all four on the same team hasn’t produced consistent winning just yet. Since Harden made his debut against the New York Knicks on Nov. 6, the Clippers have gone just 6-8 and are currently sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference.

The 34-year-old is also recording just 15.7 points per game this year, his lowest scoring average since the 2010-11 season. Harden is also totaling a mere 6.4 assists each night, his worst mark since 2013-14. However, his spirits are still high after the Clippers came back from a 22-point deficit to beat the Warriors.

“I told [Paul George] and [Kawhi Leonard] before the game, ‘Let’s catch our rhythm. Let’s be good, like we’re going to be later in the season,” Harden said after the game, per Youngmisuk. “Let’s start it now.'”

Despite his admission about the unexpected difficulty of integrating all four notable players, Lue also understands the challenge in front of him regarding the Clippers’ future.

“It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be tough,” he said. “Guys are playing different ways than they’re used to playing. And it’s hard to tell four All-Stars and four future Hall of Famers to play different when they’ve been doing it for so long. And that’s going to be the challenge for the coaches all year.”

Los Angeles’ next opportunity to gain some consistency will come against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *