Calling the Shots

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New Clippers Bench Boss Ready for Challenge of Coaching Kawhi, PG

The bubble experience for the Los Angeles Clippers was an absolute disaster and blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets was nothing more than a cherry on the cake.

It was bad no matter how you wish to slice it.

A lack of urgency, consistency, and fluidity on the floor was compounded with drama inside the locker room. It started with the Lou Williams Magic City fiasco and ultimately concluded with the firing of veteran head coach Doc Rivers.

Teammates butted heads.

There was alleged disdain for the preferential treatment that the organization’s stars received and there simply seemed to be so little chemistry that a rival NBA exec believes the Clippers are ready to blow up a championship calibre roster only a year after being dubbed championship favourites.

“The Clippers are going to break this up whether you like it or not. I heard from the inside source they’re all going to break this up,” said the executive in an anonymous interview with The Athletic. “They are going to break this up”.

Enter Tyronn Lue.

The former Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers recently inked a fresh five year deal to be the bench boss of what seems to be an absolute tire fire. Whether or not the Clippers are to retain Paul George or try to run things back once more, Lue will be tasked with instilling a new culture in the organization and that will begin by making sure everyone on his roster is on the same page.

For Lue, the process will start by getting George and Kawhi Leonard to buy in.

“[Leonard and George] are going to have to adjust to my system and my program. But also I also have to be able to adjust to their comfort zone and what makes them better,” Lue said in his introductory press conference. “Also setting the tone defensively of being the two best two-way players in the league. I think it starts on the defensive end with those two guys with setting a tone defensively,” said Lue, who also emphasized keeping the duo healthy.

Lue also believes that a key reason as to why the Clippers lacked chemistry was the mass amount of injuries that they endured throughout the season. That being said, Lue is ready to look to the future and put this past season behind him and the organization.

“I think a lot of leadership has to come from me, has to come from Kawhi, PG, Lou and Pat Beverley. It’s going to be collective,” said Lue. “I got to show them different ways of leadership and they got to show me different ways of leadership. I don’t know everything. They don’t know everything. … The biggest thing about leadership is just communication.”

With the structure of George’s and Leonard’s contracts being what they are, it will be up to Lue to make the necessary adjustments quickly and bring the Clippers back to championship contention.

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