Clippers Notes: Brown, Harden, Powell, Consistency, Primo

Clippers forward Kobe Brown has usurped P.J. Tucker in the team’s rotation of late, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Brown, who was the final first-round pick of this year’s draft (30th overall), is receiving a rare opportunity for a Clippers rookie, Greif writes, as L.A. has been focused on contending in recent years — its young players typically receive playing time in the G League instead of the NBA.

That was also the case for Brown prior to the trade for James Harden, which saw the Clippers send out four forwards and only receive one in return (Tucker), creating a void at the position. The 23-year-old said his time with the Ontario Clippers was beneficial, Greif notes.

The G League definitely helped, a lot,” he said. “It’s the same stuff we do with the big team but the games are a lot slower, at least in my opinion, so you’re able to grasp onto stuff we’re doing a lot easier so when you come back up it’s like, everything slows down a little bit for me. That’s been the biggest thing for me, really.”

Brown’s statistics have been modest to this point, which is to be expected with so many ball-dominant players on the roster. But the team likes his versatility, and head coach Tyronn Lue has been encouraging him to remain confident even when he makes mistakes, according to Greif.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • L.A. reeled off six straight losses after acquiring Harden, but the Clippers have gone 7-3 over their past 10 games and are back at .500 with a 10-10 record. What has led to the turnaround? Law Murray of The Athletic explores that topic, writing that Harden is regaining his form, Norman Powell continues to provide a lift off the bench, and players growing more comfortable in their roles have all played factors in the team’s improved play.
  • Despite recent comeback wins over Golden State and Denver, the Clippers are still searching for consistency, Greif writes for The Los Angeles Times (subscription required). Evaluating the team through 20 games is nearly impossible because of all the changes to the roster and rotation, says Greif, but one thing seems certain — avoiding playing Harden and Russell Westbrook together is a must, with Lue saying the team plans to stagger their minutes late in games.
  • Guard Joshua Primo won’t face charges after being accused of “exposing himself to one individual” five different times over the course of several months, Greif tweets. The Bexar County District Attorney’s office cited a lack of evidence as the reason why Primo won’t be charged with a crime. The 20-year-old was given a second chance this fall by the Clippers after being waived by San Antonio last year for engaging in “inappropriate and offensive behavior by exposing himself to women.” The NBA imposed a four-game suspension and Primo has been undergoing therapy for his behavior, which allegedly included multiple incidents with Dr. Hillary Cauthen, a sports psychologist who worked for the Spurs during his time with the organization.
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