The LA Clippers are still figuring everything out when it comes to their starting lineup and how to get back to winning basketball. On one hand, Russell Westbrook's sacrifice of choosing to come off the bench is an incredibly selfless move that could do a lot to help the team progress.
But on the other, there is no guarantee that James Harden will end up as a good on-court fit with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George either. Many Clippers fans have wondered if we will still see the previously very successful lineup of Leonard, George and Westbrook together on the floor now that Harden is in the mix.
Head Coach Tyronn Lue recently gave an answer to that question that was as cringe-inducing and ironic as it was satisfying. "Just trying to find our way as far as rotations," said Lue. "We gotta get better just making sure we shape that second unit to fit the right way ... That trio with Russ, PG, Kawhi was pretty good as well."
Tyronn Lue's statement is extremely ironic to Clippers fans
These words from Lue are a bit frustrating for obvious reasons. Everyone who has been watching the Clippers is acutely aware of how good Kawhi, George and Westbrook were together. This circles us back to the original question of why did the team trade for James Harden in the first place?
If the Head Coach is trying to find a way to incorporate a lineup that was previously part of the starting five, it would seem that some overthinking or perhaps lack of thinking went into trading for Harden. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were most effective with Russell Westbrook next to them, so the fact that the team is now trying to find a way to get that lineup back on the floor is embarrassingly awkward.
The Clippers' experiment with James Harden can still work, but the fact they are still trying to get back to their old ways is a worrying sign.