“You Gonna Risk Your Job?”: Ty Lue Urged to Get a Reality Check After Disastrous Start to the James Harden Era at Clippers

Published 11/15/2023, 12:53 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

James Harden‘s season with the Clippers kicked off with a nosedive. Amid the initial buzz of his trade to the Clippers, their heralded ‘Big Four’ was considered nearly invincible. However, that has not been the case so far. The Clippers have failed to translate the blockbuster trade into a win. They have maintained a winless 0-5 streak ever since Harden joined the fold. Before the match against the Nuggets on Tuesday, James has averaged just 13.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in four games, his lowest since his sophomore season in 2011.

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While many people attribute his lackluster performance to his bad shape after missing several games, others blame Clippers head coach Ty Lue for not being able to figure out a productive starting lineup. American rapper Cam’ron came up with a hypothesis as to why Ty Lue is allowing the star-studded lineup despite their underwhelming performance so far.

The rationale behind Ty Lue continuing to deploy the starting lineup featuring his Big Four

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In the latest episode of the ‘It Is What It Is’ podcast, Cam’ron posed an interesting question for Ty Lue. “You going to risk your job for this lineup?” asked Cam. However, he came up with a hypothetical scenario about Ty Lue not having a say in Harden’s trade. According to him, that’s the only way someone can explain why anyone thinks a starting lineup with all four ball-dominant players could work.

In Cam’s imagination, Ty Lue is not changing the starting five to make Clippers GM Trent Redden realize how bad of an idea it was. He continued, “This one of them situations where Ty Lue is like ‘No, we’re not going to take him out the starting line just yet. This is Trent’s idea and now we’re going to go with what Trent wanted to do because when I told y’all I’m not sure if this was going to work.’ And I don’t know none of that. This is all speculation that Ty Lue is saying ‘This is what y’all want to do when we had a decent team the way it was. Now let’s see if it really works.'”

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Is James the right fit for the Clippers?

James’ arrival in LA has not been pretty for the Clippers, who sit 12th in the Western Conference standings with seven losses this season. They even struggled against the Memphis Grizzlies, the team with the worst record in the West. In that match, Harden only managed to convert four of his 12 field goal attempts and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. Furthermore, he added to the team’s woes with four turnovers.

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However, it’s not just Harden; Leonard, George, and Westbrook’s performances have also plummeted. This brings us to speculate whether the starting lineup with all their Big Four works for the Clippers. In short, no. All four players are ball-dominant, which results in a clash of roles. While the reigning NBA assist leader was brought in to facilitate the team’s pick and rolls, he has instead proved detrimental to George and Kawhi’s offensive rhythm. Therefore, the team needs to come up with an effective plan before their season spirals into utter chaos.

Watch this story: Ex-Jazz Star Unravels Using Unusual Tactics to Stop Unstoppable Rockets James Harden: “We Was Trying Anything Man”

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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