Kawhi Leonard says Clippers 'have to change' after blowing 22 point lead to Warriors

It's early, but the Clippers have a problem.
Author:
Publish date:

The Clippers have a problem, and it's their inability to hold leads because of their bench.

It's hard to believe, but the Clippers were beating the Warriors by 22 points with 3:15 left in the third quarter. Somehow, the bench managed to allow Golden State to go on an 18-2 run in that span. After that, the situation had already combusted, and Steph got hot.

When you look at some of the bench statistics for the LA Clippers, it's pretty surreal. They're a -266 cumulatively over the first 10 games of the season, which includes the lopsided Dallas Mavericks loss. The next worst bench is the Minnesota Timberwolves, with a -192. 

Even when you take out the Dallas Mavericks game and only look at the last five games, it still looks very bad for the Clippers. Here are their cumulative +/- for over the last five games:

vs GSW (-87): L
vs GSW (-18): W
vs SAS (-64): L
vs PHX (+42): W
vs UTA (-49): L

That's a -176 over the last five games, and that's exactly why they're 2-3 in the last five. Fortunately, the bench really wasn't that bad in the first five games of the season, which included wins over the Lakers, Nuggets, and Blazers. 

The talent is there, the issue just seems to be with the repetition or the fit. It's nothing to overly panic about yet, but it's clearly something the Clippers need to fix immediately. Kawhi Leonard knows the team isn't a great team yet, and knows there needs to be some change with what's happening.