Now losers of their last three games, the LA Clippers are looking to snap this tough skid. Two of the three losses have come without Kawhi Leonard, who will also be out on Sunday, but with his availability so limited to start the year, the team must find ways to win without him. According to Ty Lue, that starts by getting back to good habits.
Speaking with reports for the first time since the team dropped two games in OKC, Lue said before practice on Saturday that the team needs to focus on good habits, which is one of the controllable variables during a stretch of the season that’s loaded with uncertainty.
“My message is just playing the right way,” Lue said. “Creating good habits, you’re not gonna win every game, but we gotta play better. We understand that. But my biggest thing is just creating good habits. If we do that on both sides of the basketball, we’ll be fine.”
Lue placed emphasis on habits several times throughout his media session, telling reporters that it’s the most important thing right now. With it being so early in the season, Lue is less concern about outcomes as he is the process. While the outcome matters, as Lue acknowledged, creating good habits in October is what sets the foundation for a team that plans to play into June.
How will the players respond?
Coach Lue shared his message about building good habits, but it will ultimately being on the players to answer that call. Speaking with reporters on Saturday, both Norman Powell and Luke Kennard shared some perspective on the team’s struggles, and some reason for optimism that they’ll turn things around.
“I think it’s just a lot of guys trying to figure it out,” Powell said when asked about the team’s recent skid. “I think when it comes to trying to figure things out, you can overcompensate and start thinking too much. Then you’re overthinking rather than just playing and doing what you do naturally.”
Having struggled in the team’s first few games before putting up a solid performance on Thursday, Powell is just trying to get back to the basics, and he believes his teammates are too.
Clippers guard Luke Kennard echoed similar sentiments to both Powell and Lue, saying the team knows what they need to do, and now it’s about execution. Kennard believes the team has been too loose with the basketball so far this season, and included himself in that category as well. One of the team’s most consistent players to start the season, even Kennard knows where improvements need to be made.
While there are several strides this Clippers group needs to make in order to reach the level they expect to reach, the team knows where it needs to start, and it’s with the basics. As Ty Lue reiterated several times, it’s all about building good habits.