Over their six-game losing streak, the LA Clippers were at the lowest they have been through the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George era. When healthy, this team is usually at the top of the Western Conference. This season has been the opposite, as the Clippers are not far from the 12th seed.
However, their contest against the Dallas Mavericks showed otherwise. In the absence of George, Leonard stepped up big time, which drove the Clippers to a win. On top of his season-high of 33 points, Leonard added nine rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Additionally, he shot 9-12 from the field, including three made three-pointers.
While Leonard dominated, he was not alone. The two-way wing, Norman Powell, navigated through the Mavericks’ defense as he posted 27 points and four rebounds on 8-14 shooting. He is proving time and time again that not only is he an all-star talent, but he deserves to be the frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year.
As Lue had to take on one of the best teams in the Western Conference, he was also without his best three-point shooter. After being listed as questionable, Luke Kennard was ruled out due to his calf. Head coach Tyronn Lue will need Kennard to remain as healthy as possible, as he is one of the top shooters in the NBA.
Lue’s improved game plan was the main reason the Clippers could come out on top.
The primary focus for the LA Clippers this season has been utilizing their wing depth to the highest capacity. This goes in line with how the coaching staff orchestrates the rotations. With guards like Reggie Jackson and John Wall on the bench, Terance Mann has truly taken a decisive step forward.
Having Mann run the point guard for the starting unit has been highly beneficial on both ends. This gives the lineup another dynamic guard who can do just about everything. Lue seems to understand this as he played Mann 41 minutes in the win against Dallas.
Another decision that elevated the Clippers’ play was allowing the defensive specialist, Robert Covington, to play extended minutes. During his season-high of 31 minutes, Covington closed the win with nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists while also making countless plays on both sides of the ball.
Now that the losing streak has ended, the LA Clippers have another tough match-up against the Denver Nuggets. Another win at home would give Lue and his squad a strong sense of momentum moving forward. This game would ultimately display where the Clippers are in their championship hunt.