Lue’s scheme shatters into pieces as the Clippers take a loss in Philly

Ivica Zubac, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Ivica Zubac, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /

Since Tyronn Lue received the head coaching job, the LA Clippers have not been a team to give up big leads. In most cases, when Lue builds a gap, his squad can hold it down until the game ends. However, this was not the case against the Philadelphia 76ers, as the Clippers let go of a double-digit lead.

Moreover, this game was seen as a must-win in a stacked Western Conference. Had the Clippers won, they would have likely closed in on a top-three seed. That said, franchise superstar Kawhi Leonard was among the few motivating factors throughout the loss.

The two-way stud dropped 28 points and added five assists and three rebounds while shooting 12-19 from the field. What may come off as surprising is that Leonard played 34 minutes which was his highest of the season. This is definitely something to note as the year progresses.

Leonard’s star teammate, Paul George, had a dominant first half but could not find a rhythm later in the game. Although he finished with 22 points, he shot 7-18 with a +/- of -16. This is a perfect example of how George must play better if the Clippers hope to compete against some of the best teams in the NBA.

The LA Clippers need to close out games, especially against the upper echelon of the NBA.

Through a near-flawless first half, several players contributed to the LA Clippers’ 20-point lead. This half displayed why Lue has the best team in the NBA, as they are unbeatable when there is a sense of urgency on both ends of the floor.

Furthermore, the slashing wing Norman Powell played exceptionally well through 23 minutes. On top of 21 points, Powell closed the night with four rebounds and four assists on eight made field goals. Without a play-maker like John Wall, these performances from Powell will ultimately propel the Clippers in the postseason.

Despite numerous notable showings, Lue’s strategy was the biggest reason the Clippers lost. In a game where three-point shooting and rim protection are needed, there should be no reason why two key players in, Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac, end the game on the bench. This decision put the Clippers in a position to lose.

Next. Leonard's health decides the Clippers' title aspirations. dark

Nonetheless, the LA Clippers take the day off on Christmas before playing the Detroit Pistons on the road. Lue and his squad must correct their wrongs and bounce back, hoping to jump in the Western Conference standings.