A loss to Atlanta puts the LA Clippers’ title hopes in jeopardy

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the last week, the LA Clippers’ struggles have been shining under the spotlight. On top of a weak set of rotations, the energy and urgency on the court have disappeared. While part of this is due to injuries, the front office has many prominent decisions to make.

The LA Clippers’ most recent loss to the Hawks occurred because the defense couldn’t hold its ground. Especially without two-way superstar Paul George, guarding the perimeter seemed much more difficult. In addition, head coach Tyronn Lue continues to have one of his best defenders, Robert Covington, out of the lineup.

Although the Clippers’ losing streak extended to six games, the two-time champion, Kawhi Leonard, consistently shows how dominant he can be. Along with his 29 points, Leonard stuffed the stat sheet with seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

What’s different from the previous losses is that several others made their contributions known. Interior big man, Ivica Zubac, had another phenomenal outing with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and three assists. Not to mention three others scored in double figures, making this game very close down the stretch.

If the losing streak continues, the LA Clippers will fall out of the playoff picture.

Currently, the LA Clippers are in the play-in tournament but are only 1.5 games back from the 12th seed. This is different from the news fans hope to hear, as the Clippers are among the most talented teams in the NBA.

The loss to Atlanta exemplifies why the Lue’s strategy is breaking down. Despite the team’s 11 turnovers, the Clippers shot 38.9% from the field, 33.3% from three, and 77.4% from the line. These types of shooting nights back up how the LA Clippers are far from ready to compete with the rest of the league.

However, one bright spot may be how Lue has adjusted the starting lineup. Inserting the slashing wing, Terance Mann, into the primary rotation boosted the team’s play on both ends of the court. Mann took advantage of his opportunity by posting 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in 35 minutes of action.

Next. The Clippers lose a crucial game on the road. dark

That said, the LA Clippers’ schedule gets even tougher through their next match-up with the Dallas Mavericks. If Lue manages to lose once again, the front office should consider making changes immediately. This late in the season, there is no room for error. The Clippers must find a way to win in order to prevent a seven-game drought.