The Los Angeles Clippers’ struggles in the NBA continued as they lost their fifth consecutive game, this time against the Memphis Grizzlies. It was expected to be a turnaround match but the Clippers fell short with a 105-101 loss at the Crypto.com Arena. This loss was particularly disappointing as it was against the Grizzlies, a team that had only one win in their last nine games before this matchup.
“Kawhi Leonard is growing increasingly frustrated out there and took a while to come back to the bench following the timeout. Leonard and Ivica Zubac had an interaction on the floor and then on the bench, both pointing to places.”
Kawhi Leonard was reportedly seen “growing increasingly frustrated” today and “took a while to come back to the bench” following a timeout.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) November 12, 2023
Apart from the defeat, the frustration within the team was visible. Kawhi Leonard known for his calmness showed a rare moment of frustration during the third quarter. After trailing by 13 points, Leonard was seen having a heated exchange with center Ivica Zubac on the court which continued to the bench. While the details of their conversation are still unknown, it was a clear indication of the growing tension within the team.
Kawhi Leonard reacts to Clippers’ ongoing struggles
Kawhi Leonard who scored 14 points in the game seemed to downplay the team’s problems in his post-game comments. “No magic to it. Just figuring each other out,” Leonard stated as reported by Andrew Greif of the LA Times.
“No magic to it,” Kawhi Leonard said of finding a rhythm for the Clippers’ starters. “Just figuring each other out.”
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) November 12, 2023
Leonard reflected a seemingly careless attitude toward the Clippers’ current situation. This response comes at a time when the team’s chemistry is under question, especially after the recent acquisition of James Harden, who has yet to make an impact.
Clippers big four struggle to meet expectations
The Clippers’ “Big Four,” including Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Harden, and Paul George, are facing criticism as they continue to fall short of expectations. Even though George managed to make a major impact with 26 points against the Grizzlies, the others struggled to contribute effectively.
Leonard could only manage 14 points, Westbrook added 12, and Harden’s performance was notably poor, scoring only 11 points and missing crucial shots. This collective underperformance is concerning, considering their individual reputations and capabilities.
It’s going to have to get a lot worse to get better for the Clippers. They started winning games they should win and are now dropping terrible performances after the late addition of James Harden.
The team went 0-5 in Westbrook’s first run and are now going through the same.
— Clippers UK (@ClippersUK) November 12, 2023
Coach Tyronn Lue faces the challenge of using these talents effectively, as the competitive nature of the Western Conference leaves little room for a stretch like this. The Clippers’ ability to bounce back from this situation is important for their season aspirations.