A couple weeks ago, the Los Angeles Clippers traded Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, K.J. Martin and picks to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev.
The Clippers now have a superteam, considering they added Harden to their core of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook. But all the talent that the Clippers have on paper hasn’t translated into wins thus far.
Los Angeles has yet to earn a win since Harden made his debut with the team against the New York Knicks over a week ago.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, who now coaches the Clippers, said that getting the superteam to gel is his toughest challenge as a head coach.
“This is my toughest challenge as a head coach, but I’m up for the task for sure,” Lue told Bleacher Report. “The biggest thing is getting these guys to sacrifice for guys, whether that’s starting the game, finishing the game, shots, touches, who’s running pick-and-rolls, and things like that. Getting these guys to sacrifice will be the biggest challenge all season.”
Lue is no stranger to coaching superteams. In his first season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, the 2011-12 season, Boston had Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. All of Boston’s best players aside from Rondo were a bit long in the tooth at that point, but the Celtics still managed to reach the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
Also, he was the head coach of the Cavaliers when they were led by the star trio of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
Lue led the Cavaliers to great success during his time with them. Cleveland appeared in three straight NBA Finals under Lue and won the 2016 NBA title. Lue and the Cavaliers eliminated the Golden State Warriors in seven games in the championship series, clawing their way back from a 3-1 deficit.
If the Clippers can’t string together some wins in the near future, they will be at risk of putting themselves in a hole in the Western Conference standings that they won’t be able to dig themselves out of.
But fortunately, the team has some winnable games on the horizon. The Clippers will play the San Antonio Spurs — who have lost their last six games — on Nov. 20 and again on Nov. 22.