Clippers ahead Marcus Morris was discussing the significance of his coach’s championship expertise Sunday night time when he caught himself, questioning whether or not he’d misspoke.
“He’s gained one,” Morris stated of Tyronn Lue. “Or perhaps two. Did he win two?”
Three, in truth, however one was sufficient to underscore Morris’ level. The Clippers have been constructed to win huge, however few really know what it takes. When Lue talks, the roster has listened.
Being a part of two title seasons with the Lakers, and training Cleveland to a different 5 years in the past, taught Lue a lot, however not every little thing. He has instructed his staff as a lot three months into his Clippers tenure. It’s why when Lue talks, he expects gamers to interject.
“I’m not a man who thinks I do know every little thing,” Lue stated. “I simply need to get it proper as a substitute of pondering I do know every little thing. It’s good to have dialogue along with your gamers, simply see what they suppose and what their ideas are and when you’ll be able to speak to them about ‘OK, effectively your ideas aren’t proper due to this,’ and you may clarify it to them, I believe it makes it quite a bit higher.
“Having that fixed communication along with your gamers, I believe, is de facto good and so they all the time really feel part of it. Not that I’m all the time proper. Not that they’re all the time proper. We simply need to get it proper.”
Almost one month into this season during which a lot might go mistaken, due to both a pandemic, final season’s hangover from blowing a 3-1 playoff collection lead or simply the night-to-night points within the NBA, the Clippers most frequently have been on the fitting facet of the scoreboard. Following Sunday’s 33-point rout of Indiana, the Clippers owned the league’s second-best document and third-best level differential — regardless of a 51-point loss early on.
Paul George’s career-best begin, Nicolas Batum’s resurgence and the NBA’s top-shooting roster have factored closely into that 10-4 begin. To not be neglected, ahead Kawhi Leonard stated, is the staff’s working dialogue.
“It is simply open, you’ll be able to say what you need,” Morris stated Sunday. “All people bought numerous respect for one another, hearken to the gamers, and we simply going ahead, man. And the dialogue between gamers and coaches needs to be sturdy for those who’re making an attempt to win a championship.
“… We form of felt let down final 12 months and the very first thing we did earlier than we bought collectively was we let that s— go. It’s a brand new season, it’s a brand new staff, and we’re simply making an attempt to go on the market on daily basis and get higher.”
Doing that requires understanding the place enchancment is required and from their 51-point loss to Dallas, the most important margin of defeat in franchise historical past, to dropping a 22-point lead in a defeat at Golden State, there was a lot to debate.
“In San Francisco we perhaps stayed an hour after the sport within the locker room speaking with one another,” Batum stated. “So there are other ways to bond.”
In his try and push the Clippers ahead, Lue has not relied solely on the Socratic methodology. After 10 video games he eliminated ineffectual five-man mixtures, and a few contributors from the common rotation, after consulting lineup knowledge. Wanting on the numbers led to conversations as he defined his reasoning for the adjustments.
“The largest factor is simply having dialogue about it, simply speaking to one another, the coaches and the gamers, collectively,” Lue stated. “Simply speaking about what we see, what the numbers say and I believe the blokes understood it.”
Morris had identified Lue lengthy earlier than he turned his coach, and that familiarity led the veteran ahead to be optimistic that such belief might assist restore a locker room the place a lot was usually stated final season, however not all the time heard.
As coaching camp started in December, Morris stated that Lue “probably not having that ego,” together with a willingness to embrace concepts “not simply in his personal thoughts” had lifted his confidence. Seven weeks after camp opened, that perception has not been misplaced.
“I really feel like our power is means higher this season,” Morris stated Sunday. “Suppose guys are shopping for in.”
Stated George: “It’s an actual bond. It’s enjoyable with this staff, it’s locked in, we’re collectively. It is among the greatest locker rooms I’ve been round and been in. It’s simply, hopefully you guys see it, simply how effectively we’re meshing.”
There have been rising pains. Early hallmarks included misplaced leads, enabled by porous second-half protection and chilly stretches on offense. Combating complacency “is about breaking issues down and telling them step-by-step what’s occurring when groups are coming again and making these runs on us,” Lue stated. “We now have been speaking about that during the last week or so.”
By sustaining comfy second-half leads towards Sacramento and Indiana to increase their successful streak to 4, the Clippers confirmed that they had listened.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.