James Harden Airballs Crucial Late Three-Pointer, Clippers Might Be a Mess

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James Harden raised a big stink in Philadelphia, eventually wearing Daryl Morey down to a place where he had no choice but to send the mercurial southpaw to the Los Angeles Clippers. Harden seems happy enough in his new town to not pout about playing basketball, but it is very early and things aren't going well. So stay tuned.

Things have not exactly been all butterflies and rainbows for Steve Ballmer's franchise since pulling the trigger on their high-risk new investment. Last night they fell at home to the previously 1-8 Memphis Grizzles. Harden had a look at a potentially game-tying triple with about 40 seconds remaining and couldn't even manage to hit the rim.

The bad miss highlighted a bad night for Harden, who scored 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting. He played 29 minutes and posted a -28. Once again, it looked like he isn't in the greatest basketball shape. Which is crazy because he did all that preparation to play basketball headed into the year.

With the important caveats that it's extremely early and Harden actually should improve once his conditioning comes around ... what the hell are the Clippers doing? All of the fears about a ragtag group of ball-dominant yet entirely unreliable protagonists are being realized in the form of five consecutive losses.

A lot of people had a lot of doubts about such a plan and the immediate returns have done nothing to allay those fears. Harden, for now, seems to be more trouble than he's worth and not exactly someone anyone wants to see in crunch time. Other than that, though, everything is fine.