In a recent interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, Frank Isola, the distinguished sportswriter, shared insights on the potential synergy between James Harden and the star-studded Los Angeles Clippers roster, featuring Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook.
Isola’s optimism shines through as he asserts, “I think they CAN figure it out, you know? It’s too early.”
He suggests a strategic approach, proposing the utilization of Harden’s proficiency with the second unit, drawing parallels to his time in Brooklyn.
Isola envisions a scenario where Harden could shine during crucial moments, stating, “Put him in when it’s six minutes to go. Take Russell Westbrook and one of the other guys either Kawhi or Paul George and let James Harden go to work.”
Reflecting on the reluctance of some players to accept bench roles, Isola draws from past experiences, stating, “I don’t know if it’s the most insulting thing to tell a guy who’s been great who’s now in his 30’s, especially on a team like the Clippers, is that the balance of the team is a little bit better sometimes instead of having all those scorers out there, bring one of those guys off the bench.”
Isola, known for his seasoned perspective, emphasizes the overarching goal of finishing the game, offering valuable advice to both players and the coaching staff.
He contends that adapting roles for the current team dynamics could be advantageous, even for a player of Harden’s caliber.
“I don’t understand the whole and why so many guys are so reluctant to do it, especially at some points in their career,” Isola continued. “It doesn’t take away from the face — for example, if you use James Harden he’s had a great career, he’s been an MVP in the league but right now for this moment it might be better. It doesn’t mean that he’s not going to finish the game…
“Isn’t it the bigger thing to finish the game? That’s really what it’s about. That’s advice you need to maybe give James Harden or give it to Ty Lue. Didn’t we go through with it with Carmelo Anthony on some of the teams that he played for toward the end? Obviously Russell Westbrook went through it with the Lakers, you know?”