(News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Clippers are 3-1 to start the season after a win over the Orlando Magic on Halloween. The Clippers dominated the game despite Kawhi Leonard scoring just eight points on 3-11 from the field. Five Los Angeles players scored in the double digits, and with James Harden on the way, the team will have no shortage of players capable of carrying the offensive load.
“We have the type of team where it could be PG’s night, Kawhi’s night, or Russ’s night. Kawhi doesn’t care about numbers, he just wants to win, and that is what he does,” said Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue during his postgame press conference.
The Clippers’ deep roster is a good problem for Lue and his staff to have. The head coach is using the early parts of the season to figure out the best ways to get touches for his plethora of scoring options.
“Bones is fitting in with PG and Kawhi and kinda letting Russ and Norm run that second unit and score the basketball,” said Lue after the Clippers’ previous win against Utah. “I thought it was a lot better for us because they both stay engaged in the game, and they are not just standing around watching PG and Kawhi play. We have to keep working with the rotations and just figure out who works well with who, and how we can get the best out of each player.”
Keeping everyone involved and engaged can be challenging when these many offensive threats are present. Leonard, George, Westbrook, and Harden will take on the lion’s share of the work, but on any given night, Norman Powell, Bones Hyland, and Terance Mann can contribute in a big way. Hyland has had a solid start to the season, averaging 16 points per game while shooting just over 46 percent from distance.
“Just being aggressive and wanting to take that next step. Just being engaged using his youth and energy, and also the skill level to perform,” said Kawhi postgame when asked about Hyland so far this season.
The depth will allow the aging stars to coast on nights other players have it going on offense. It also enables the organization to rest players as they have in the past without suffering a huge drop off in talent. Maintaining a healthy Leonard and George has been at the top of the Clippers’ concerns ever since they acquired the two All-NBA players, and this year is no different.
The Clippers will look to build upon their strong start to the season as they play the second half of a back-to-back against the Lakers on Wednesday night. In preparing for the Lakers or any other big game, Westbrook said the key is for everyone to do what is expected of them.
“One thing about it, there’s so many unselfish guys in this locker room since day one, and the organization they’ve rallied behind me since day one, as you mentioned, and every night I try to give everything I have to make sure that I’m supporting them,” Westbrook said. “As long as they do their part, I’ll make sure I continue to do my part night in and night out and that’s all you can ask for. “
Benjamin Verbrugge is a student at CSU Dominguez Hill studying journalism. “Sports have brought me much joy throughout my life, and I want to be able to give a little back to something that has meant so much to me. I grew up in Los Angeles primarily following the Lakers and Dodgers, but I am also an avid fan of sporting events, news, and stories in general.”