Guided by Doc Rivers, the Los Angeles Clippers made a splash last offseason when they added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to a rich roster that already included Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac and others.
Then along came the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Playoffs. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić were fantastic and they pretty much rid the Los Angeles Lakers from even having to see them in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.
As a result: Doc Rivers was fired and he found a new home as the head coach of a Philadelphia 76ers team that has the luxury of having talent that includes Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
A Championship coach with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Tyronn Lue now guides the Clippers as their head coach.
“I like the move for the consistency,” retired NBA vet and current Memphis Grizzlies, Fox Sports color commentator Brevin Knight tells me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“I like the move because they heard his voice for an entire season and if you want some type of realistic chance, then it’s nice to have somebody that has a voice that’s already there. I think that would be a good choice in doing it that way. The biggest thing that Ty Lue would have to get there with the Clippers is that they have to number one; figure out who they are as a team, who they are as an organization and then from there, have to start to build some type of expectation — and I’m not talking about the expectations of winning a championship; the expectations of coming in every day and we’re going to get better as a unit. Not you got better, he got better but they have to get better as an entire unit.”
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the face of the squad. But what’s mising?
“The biggest issue I think for the Clippers and this has been for years is when they get into crunch time, the belief in one another hasn’t been there enough to get them over the hump,” noted Knight.
“And so who’s going to be that leader? I think they’ve also been void of basketball leaders. I mean, they have some good leaders that sit on the bench and call the plays and their coaching, but the guys that are on the floor playing…I don’t know who that guy is. Like if you look at all the Clippers teams I don’t know who that guy is that gets everybody and says, ‘C’mon. Let’s do this! I got this!’ And so, if he can figure that out I think it’s that, that will get him through the tough times. ‘Cause right now it’s just the tough times that they can’t get through. When everything is easy, they’re good. But when it gets a little iffy, that’s when you need guys to stick together and be tougher. So hopefully Ty Lue can bring that in his first season. You can never doubt the skill that they have, but it’s always just something missing.”