Chris O’Meara/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Clippers are just three games away from the start of the postseason and still trying to work out a few issues with their offense.
On Tuesday, after knocking off the Toronto Raptors, 115-96, Kawhi Leonard said one of the most pressing issues was the Clippers’ ball security. L.A. had 18 turnovers against Toronto, leading to 14 Raptors points. That’s the type of thing Leonard said can’t happen in the playoffs.
“You want to be in single-digit mark definitely in the playoffs,” Leonard told reporters after the win. “…It just comes between the ears. What type of mindset are we gonna have? Do we want to win because you need carryover. … We can’t keep talking about it. It’s about doing it now, pretty much.”
Kawhi Leonard had just one turnover on Tuesday while Paul George led the Clippers with six.
George seemed to struggle in all areas of his game, going five-for-15 (two-for-nine from three) with four rebounds and four assists as he dropped 16 points in 33 minutes.
Yet the turnover issue goes well beyond the shooting guard. The Clippers haven’t posted single-digit turnovers since a May 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets in which they coughed up the ball six times. Los Angeles has gone 3-1 since that outing but the turnover problems have only grown.
A 22-turnover night against the Lakers should’ve been the low point. Considering the Raptors were playing without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Aron Baynes on Tuesday, it’s clear Los Angeles found a new low.
Leonard believes it all comes down to mindset.
If L.A. focuses on being more careful with the ball, it’ll happen.
Maybe that’s a bit simplistic but with three games left in the season there isn’t much time to make any major changes. The Clippers need to get their rotation on the same page and stay there as long as possible. As the playoffs get underway, it’ll be on L.A. to prove they can overcome the letdown of last year’s playoff run and ensure they’re in control of their own destiny.
As Leonard said, that all begins with a healthy mindset.