Cause and effect of Nicolas Batum in the LA Clippers’ starting lineup

Nicolas Batum, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Nicolas Batum, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

It takes a lot for LA Clippers head coach Ty Lue to shift things around.

How much is a lot, you may ask? 8/10 shooting (all three’s), 24 points, 5 assists, and two steals. Nicolas Batum was the star of Monday’s 124-112 victory against the Chicago Bulls. Leading the team in scoring, Batum proved he’s much more efficient than his counterpart, Marcus Morris Sr.

Tyronn Lue said the following after the game;

“It was nothing that Marcus did wrong, just trying something different,”

Lue said, “When you’re not playing well you want to try something different.”

Something different has been brewing for a long time now. It seems Lue has finally made up his mind, doing so in a timely fashion, with six games remaining in the regular season.

Morris Sr., who regularly starts at power forward, takes twice the amount of field goals as Batum per game. Batum averages 4.9 field goals attempted, while Morris is at 9.9 FGA. Batum has a slightly better shooting percentage (.433/.426), as well as three point percentage (.405/.364).

Additionally, in the month of March, Batum has been lights out. His true shooting percentage sits at 72.5. In comparison, Morris has a meek 45.7 true shooting percentage in the month of March. Batum has had his most efficient month in years, while Morris has had a week to forget about, to say the least.

What coerced LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue to start Batum over Morris in the first place?

The decision to bench Morris Sr. in place of Nicolas Batum seems to have sparked from the LA Clippers’ 131-110 loss to the Pelicans. Morris Sr. played 22 minutes, went 1/3 with 2 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist. This game needed an unlikely hero, as Kawhi Leonard performed horribly. He went 4/16 shooting, with a plus minus of -20. In this game Batum played well through 20 minutes on the floor. 13 points on 4/6 shooting, taking all threes.

With the roles at forward reversed, Robert Covington has been given the opportunity. The veteran defender is expected to see more crucial minutes in the final stretch of the season.

Next. 3 difficult offseason decisions for the Clips'. dark

Fighting to keep the fifth spot in the Western Conference, the Clippers still are attempting to heal wounds in the lineup. Not a good sign before embarking on a playoff run, but only time will tell.