When Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was requested to evaluation his crew’s six-game, 10-day street journey, he considered Jan. 28 in Miami.
Down three starters and 18 factors within the first quarter, coming off a trip-opening loss in Atlanta through which they struggled to attain with out Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley, the Clippers rallied for a win that Lue mentioned was a turning level of the journey.
“These are the kind of wins you want, you already know, momentum builders,” Lue mentioned. “I believed that was an enormous step ahead for us.”
There was a lot to love from the journey. There was the continuation of level guard Reggie Jackson’s regular play, the truth that George and Leonard seemed as if they’d by no means missed a step after lacking 4 days due to the NBA’s well being and security protocols, and the main target and “good habits” that Lue mentioned remained constant all through the journey.
“Guys try to do the proper factor defensively, making an attempt to do the proper issues offensively by sharing the basketball and making performs for one another,” he mentioned. “And that is what you need.”
However together with a 4-2 report on the journey, the Clippers returned early Thursday to Los Angeles, the place they are going to play eight of their subsequent 10 video games, with loads of homework, too.
Solely minutes after Wednesday’s 121-99 win over Cleveland, Lue gave the impression of he needed to get again within the health club to work on a laundry checklist of areas.
“Benefit from mismatches, I feel making sure passes and reads versus pick-and-rolls,” Lue mentioned. “Our small-small pick-and-rolls, I feel we received to get higher at — when groups try to indicate, when groups are switching. We have got to get higher with swap defenses.
“So, you already know, offensively it is about six or seven issues we wish to get higher at, and now we have. Now we have, we will try this, so we will proceed to maintain engaged on [it] on daily basis. Days of follow, shootarounds, simply hold getting higher at it as a result of I feel going ahead it will be huge, it will be large for us.”
There may be one other space he didn’t contact on: With out Beverley, who missed the journey whereas rehabbing an injured knee, the crew misplaced not solely certainly one of its most dogged defenders, but additionally certainly one of its loudest voices. Leonard has been extra vocal round teammates this season since being prodded by heart Serge Ibaka throughout coaching camp to take cost as a pacesetter, however the significance of his rising consolation stage was solely elevated by Beverley’s absence, whether or not the purpose guard is ready to rejoin his teammates from the sideline at Staples Middle or not.
“We received a fairly quiet group, you already know, particularly whereas Pat’s gone proper now,” Leonard mentioned. “So [I] simply wish to be sure that we all know what is going on to occur, you already know simply ensuring that we learn performs earlier than it occurs, letting them know what we’re not doing proper, what we’re doing proper and simply transferring ahead from there.”
Of their final six video games the Clippers ranked fourth in offensive score and eleventh in defensive score. Even after committing 16 turnovers in opposition to the Cavaliers, they nonetheless turned the ball over on solely 11.3% of possessions through the journey, the league’s second-lowest mark in that span.
“I believed we constructed a variety of simply crew chemistry,” George mentioned. “We performed some fairly good groups on this journey. … To go 4-2, we’ll take that. Clearly, issues might’ve been completely different. We might’ve performed just a little higher in Brooklyn. Had we been full power in Atlanta, we might have had a fair higher journey. However you already know, I believed we battled. We performed arduous. We competed. There was a variety of consistency inside this group.”
Coffey and Oturu to play with G League
Clippers guard Amir Coffey and heart Daniel Oturu will every play with the crew’s G League affiliate over the course of the G League’s 15-game season, which begins subsequent week on the campus of Disney World close to Orlando, Fla.
The 6-foot-7 Coffey has appeared in 16 video games this season, most just lately late in Wednesday’s win in Cleveland. The outlet within the Clippers’ depth chart brought on by Beverley’s harm has positioned rotation minutes nearer inside Coffey’s attain, and with roster absences due to well being and security protocols a looming chance this season, having his defensive size and downhill driving skill ready on the bench has been beneficial insurance coverage.
As a participant on a two-way contract, nonetheless, Coffey is restricted to 50 NBA video games this season, and the G League’s Agua Caliente Clippers represented an opportunity to extend his taking part in time for nonetheless lengthy he finally spends in Orlando. As a result of the G League is working in a “bubble” surroundings with each day coronavirus testing, it’s anticipated that groups will be capable of recall gamers and have them out there for NBA obligation after a quick wait of presumably just a few days.
The Clippers’ different two-way participant, Jay Scrubb, a second-round decide in November’s draft, is unavailable to play after present process foot surgical procedure. Oturu, a 6-8 heart who was the crew’s different 2020 second-round decide, has appeared in 10 video games. He’ll play on a roster that features Ty Wallace, who performed in 92 video games with the Clippers, together with former coaching camp invitees Ky Bowman, Malik Fitts, Jordan Ford, James Palmer Jr. and Donte Grantham.
When: 7 p.m.
On the air: TV: Fox Sports activities West, ESPN. Radio: 570, 1330
Replace: The Celtics (11-9) are 6-6 on the street coming off a loss Tuesday in Sacramento. Jayson Tatum has averaged 26.8 factors and Jaylen Brown 26.4, with Brown’s scoring double his common from simply two seasons in the past. Boston is 0-5 this season when trailing at halftime and is certainly one of solely three groups this season — becoming a member of Milwaukee and Houston — which have but to win when down on the half. Conversely, the Clippers (17-6) are 0-4 when behind after three quarters.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.