The Los Angeles Clippers are already feeling frustration just two games into the 82-game season. During their game against the Utah Jazz, Kawhi Leonard’s body language spoke volumes after Russell Westbrook’s unsuccessful game-winning shot attempt.
To be fair to Westbrook, Leonard had just missed a potential game-winning shot from behind the arc as the shot clock expired. The rebound landed in Westbrook’s hands, and with time running out, he had to make a quick decision. Initially, it’s easy to blame Westbrook, especially since the shot fell short. Nicholas Batum was open on the wing, but in the heat of the moment, a fast decision was necessary to attempt any shot.
However, the real issue here is Leonard’s reaction. It’s only the second game of the season, so normally, people would move on from this loss. But Kawhi falling to the floor with his head down has caught everyone’s attention. If it weren’t for his dramatic reaction, this loss wouldn’t have received as much scrutiny.
This frustration seems to be just the beginning of a season filled with similar issues that the Lakers faced during Westbrook’s brief time with them. The ironic part is that the Clippers are seriously considering adding James Harden to this mix of problems.
While the Clippers may win plenty of games this year, adding Harden won’t significantly increase their chances of winning a championship. It’s not just about the odds in Las Vegas, either. Instead, they should focus on acquiring high-quality role players who can contribute immediately and strengthen their roster depth.
When it comes down to it, the Clippers’ championship window has closed. Leonard and Paul George don’t play enough, and Westbrook can’t make up for their lack of availability. We’ve seen Harden’s performance in the postseason for too long, and the deeper his teams go, the less effective he becomes. The Clippers would benefit more from adding reliable role players instead of Harden.
Perhaps Leonard’s reaction to Westbrook’s shot was misinterpreted, but in the age of social media, optics matter. Bad body language tells its own story without waiting for an explanation. Kawhi might need to address this with Westbrook because it appeared that he had lost faith in his teammate. Playing an entire season with a point guard you don’t trust can be challenging.
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