Russell Westbrook has asked the Clippers coaching staff to transition him to a bench role amid the team's current losing streak. The Clippers have lost their last six games, including James Harden's first five with the team. Despite LA being Harden's only acceptable trade destination, the team has struggled to integrate him effectively. While Harden is an elite scoring and passing threat, he does not surpass the 1-2 tandem of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Furthermore, Harden's stagnant off-ball play as become all the more obvious since joining the Clips.
According to sources who spoke with Bleacher Report, Westbrook requested the move in an attempt to allow the first team unit to develop more cohesion. It will allow the recently recovered Terance Mann to play a more impactful cleanup role alongside Harden, George, and Leonard. As a result, Westbrook can bring a bigger veteran leadership role to the second unit and help open the floor up more while Harden and Leonard aren't there.
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Paul George Gets $35K Fine
However, problems continue to compound for the Clippers. Paul George was recently handed a $35,000 fine for criticizing the officiating team after a recent loss to the Nuggets. "I thought we played great. It's tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three. I thought they were awful but, the defending champs, we've got to play better. So many times I got hit on layups, 3-pointers. It was constant. Jump shots, getting hit, smacked on the forearm. It was a poor job," George said after the loss.
Furthermore, the league noted that the size of Paul's fine was due to his history of publicly criticizing the league's officials. Meanwhile, the 3-7 Clippers have a tough slate to end the month. Their remaining November games include the in-form Rockets as well as the Pelicans, Mavs, Nuggets, and Kings. Furthermore, they will also have to face the Spurs and Warriors. The Clippers' last win was a 118-102 victory against the Orlando Magic on Halloween. They were 3-1 at that time.
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