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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Clippers make surprising lineup change for elimination Game 6 against Mavs

The Clippers logo

The Clippers logo shown on the jumbotron at Staples Center November 12, 2018. Photo Credit: Larry Brown/Larry Brown Sports

The LA Clippers appear to be in desperation mode as they face elimination.

The Clippers announced ahead of Friday’s Game 6 against the Dallas Mavericks that veteran forward PJ Tucker is entering their starting lineup. Tucker will take the place of Amir Coffey, who had been the go-starter at forward with Kawhi Leonard injured.

Tucker, who turns 39 later this week, had been out of the Clippers rotation for most of the season and did not play at all in the first four games against the Mavs. But Clippers coach Tyronn Lue finally turned to Tucker during the second half of Wednesday’s lopsided Game 5 loss. Tucker gave surprisingly good minutes, fighting for loose balls and offensive rebounds, spotting up in the corner for threes, and playing his customarily rugged defense.

Coffey, 26, is still the higher-upside piece and made a strong contribution to the team during the regular season. But he is shooting an ugly 28.6 percent from the floor (including 27.3 percent from deep) during the Dallas series. Thus, the Clippers have decided to insert Tucker into the starting five in the hopes that he can provide energy and be physical with Mavericks stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. For Tucker, who was openly frustrated with his role on the Clippers this season, this will be his chance to finally prove himself.


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