Clippers Notes: Depth, Tyronn Lue, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

After struggling immediately following the trade for James Harden, the Clippers seem to have found their footing.Russell Westbrook drives against Cedi Osman

Interestingly, Harden and Kawhi Leonard didn’t really have great games on Saturday — but the Clippers bounced the Mavericks anyway. Credit the bench, coach Tyronn Lue told reporters.

“Kawhi and James didn’t have a great night,” Lue said, via Andrew Greif of the LA Times. “And to beat a good team like this says a lot, but our bench is really good tonight as well. So defensively that’s how you’re going to win games because you’re not going to make shots every single night. And tonight we showed that.”

Not surprisingly, the improved bench play has been taking place since Russell Westbrook moved to a reserve role. 

“Tonight I probably shot the ball twice until the fourth quarter maybe,” Westbrook said on Saturday, via Greif. “But I know that I’m able to do everything else on the floor, defend at a high level, rebound, pass and impact winning.”

  • Harden had just two field goals (both 3-pointers) vs. the Mavs. “That’s the beauty of this team,” he told reporters. “On any given night, we’ve got guys that can step up and contribute, whether it’s with scoring or whether it’s other things. For us as a group, the only thing that matters is winning. So however that looks, there’s going to be different ways, different nights.”
  • Could reserve guard Bones Hyland be a trade candidate? It sure feels that way. We have a full list here.

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