After starting the 2023-24 season 3-1, the Clippers have lost six games in a row. Since trading for James Harden, LA has lost five straight games. It’s been far from what they’ve envisioned since acquiring Harden from the 76ers. The combination of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Harden in the starting lineup has not worked.
That’s why the veteran PG Russell Westbrook has spoken up to the coaching staff in an effort to make a change. Westbrook requested to come off the bench on Friday night vs. the Rockets. It will be his first game coming off the bench for LA, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. A selfless move by the 35-year-old.
Russell Westbrook will be coming off the bench on Friday night vs. Houston
Los Angeles Clippers star Russell Westbrook – the vocal leader of the team – has requested to come off bench to help the first unit establish some continuity, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport. pic.twitter.com/mMNwzDZ9w0
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 17, 2023
According to league sources, Russell Westbrook went up to his coaching staff and requested to come off the bench. It’s been clear over this six-game losing streak the team needs something to be fixed. Westbrook had the idea of coming off the bench and head coach Ty Lue was willing to give it a try. In his place, Terrance Mann will be starting for the Clippers on Friday vs. the Rockers.
The 35-year-old PG will be coming off the bench with the second unit. He’s hoping to bring a spark of energy off the bench and help the players on the second unit build chemistry. Westbrook is selfless and doesn’t care about not being in the starting lineup. Right now, all anyone wants to do on the Clippers is stop their six-game losing streak before the losses start to add up quickly.
Since Russell Westbrook got to the Clippers, he’s done everything people said he wouldn’t do.
From being a leader in the locker room to adjusting his role multiple times to taking less money, he’s been the ultimate team player.
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) November 17, 2023
This move could be beneficial for the Clippers in a number of ways. Not only does Westbrook bring leadership off the bench, but it allows James Harden to play freely with the starters. Westbrook is averaging (5.7) assists and Harden is averaging (4.2) assists per game with the Clippers. Both of their assists averages should go up if Westbrook continues to come off the bench.
Harden led the league in assists last season and was being held back with all the talent in LA’s starting five. Westbrook coming off the bench is a move that the Clippers hope can turn their season around for the better. The Clippers are at home tonight to face the Rockets at 10:30 p.m. EST.