Could the Clippers be experiencing buyer’s remorse after trading for James Harden?
Since acquiring Harden, the Clippers have faced a challenging six-game losing streak, culminating in a 111–108 defeat to the Nuggets on Tuesday night. Harden, who has played in five of those games, managed to surpass 20 points only once as he endeavors to build chemistry with his new teammates.
Before the trade, Harden did not partake in training camp with the 76ers, making this his first basketball action since the previous season. Following the loss to Denver, Harden acknowledged the impact of his absence from training camp on the start of his season.
“I kept reiterating, I didn’t have a training camp or a preseason, so kind of learning on the fly,” Harden said, via The Associated Press. “Also getting myself into James Harden shape. Tonight was definitely another step in the right direction and just keep improving.”
Harden’s statistics for the season reflect a noticeable dip, with averages of 15 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in five games—figures that would be his lowest in more than a decade. The seasoned veteran had maintained a streak of averaging at least 20 points per game for 13 consecutive seasons.
With the Clippers now holding a 3–7 record for the season, including an 0–6 record on the road, the team faces a pivotal juncture. Although their recent six-game losing streak predominantly featured road games, the upcoming schedule offers a chance for redemption with four of the next six games being played at home. The Clippers’ next challenge is a matchup against the Rockets on Friday.
For the team’s fortunes to turn, Harden may need to acknowledge his current capabilities and adapt his playing style to align with his present strengths.