Clippers Seek ‘Identity’ Amid Recent Struggles as Playoffs Loom

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA News
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Clippers, following a remarkable road trip earlier in February, seem to have hit a rough patch in their NBA season. A recent game against the Atlanta Hawks at the Crypto.com Arena ended in a 110-93 loss for the Clippers, exacerbating their recent form downturn.

This defeat is part of a worrying trend for the Clippers, who have now lost four of their last five matchups, leading to an 8-10 record post their acclaimed seven-game Grammy road trip.

“It’s between the ears with us,” Kawhi Leonard, the team’s franchise star, expressed concern about the mental challenges the team is facing. “We got to go out and do it.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden Los Angeles Clippers Updates

Echoing Leonard’s sentiment, Paul George highlighted the team’s lack of identity as a major issue.

“I mean that’s what we’re appearing to look like, which is not good,” George stated. “We want to be a team that’s consistent and we want to establish an identity. I’ve always spoken about having an identity and I think it’s extremely important. Right now, I don’t think we have an identity.”

Despite showing potential as a championship contender during December and January, the Clippers have struggled with injuries. Notably, the team lost Russell Westbrook to a broken left hand and saw James Harden return from a brief absence only to perform below expectations due to a strained left shoulder.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden Los Angeles Clippers Updates

Amidst the team’s injury woes and condensed schedule, Leonard stressed the importance of actionable leadership to overcome their current malaise.

“Just seeing what we want to do,” Leonard said. “That’s it. What type of team we want to be. If everybody’s saying they want to be one of the last teams standing, then we got to go out and do it.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden Los Angeles Clippers Updates

Clippers coach Ty Lue pinpointed specific areas for improvement, including ball handling, transition defense, offensive rebounding, and spacing, emphasizing the necessity of consistency in these aspects. Lue remains optimistic but suggests that adjustments might be necessary to align the team’s talent with its goals.

“When they do it, it works,” Lue remarked. “Maybe it’s me. Maybe I got to do something a little different to make sure that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. … [But] I’ll never really overreact because I know we’re a good team … If you want to win, I know what it looks like. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it.”

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