Kawhi Leonard is the greatest thing to grace this wonderful earth. That might be an overstatement by just a little. But based on how his Los Angeles Clippers played against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, some might be thinking this.
Leonard missed said game due to a mouth injury he suffered after a collision with teammate Serge Ibaka during Christmas Day’s win over the Denver Nuggets. Even without Leonard in the mix, these Clippers were able to defeat Denver and move to 2-0 on the season.
That was in no way the case against an 0-2 Mavericks squad at the Staples Center on Sunday. The Clippers were routed in historical fashion. Los Angeles find itself down 50 at halftime, the largest deficit in NBA history. It would go on to lose to Luka Doncic and the Mavericks by the score of 124-73.
We’re talking about an absolutely humiliating performance without Kawhi Leonard in the mix. Recently-extended star Paul George scored 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting. He was one of eight Clippers players who was worse than minus-20 when on the court.
How bad was it? The Mavericks’ bench outscored the Clippers’ starters by 18 points. Talk about one of the most ridiculously bad performances in modern NBA history.
Obviously, those watching the game from the confines of their homes had some reactions.
NBA world reacts to Clippers losing to Mavericks by 51 points
There was a ton of talk about chemistry issues with the Clippers under recently-ousted former head coach Doc Rivers last season. NBA rumors suggest that Rivers gave preferential treatment to Leonard and George.
While it’s way too early to conclude that there’s chemistry problems under new head coach Tyronn Lue, Sunday’s humiliating performance could tell us a story.
Despite wins over the Lakers and Nuggets to open the 2020-21 NBA season, things do not seem to be right in Clipper-land right now. That’s for sure.