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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Clippers players have great nickname for Ty Lue

Ty Lue

One of the biggest knocks against Doc Rivers is that he oftentimes fails to make the proper adjustments in a playoff series. The man the Los Angeles Clippers hired to replace Rivers does not have the same reputation, and his players have made that clear.

When Rivers was coaching the Clippers, the team blew two separate 3-1 series leads in the playoffs. Lue’s team has done the opposite in this year’s postseason. Down 2-0, L.A. defeated the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night to win their third consecutive Game 3 in these playoffs after losing the first two games of the series.

Because of Lue’s basketball IQ and ability to make adjustments in difficult situations, Clippers players have come up with a flattering nickname for their coach — they call him Bill Belichick.

“We crack jokes. We called T-Lue ‘Bill Belichick’ with all the adjustments he makes,” Patrick Beverley said after the Clippers lost to Phoenix in Game 2, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “He’s definitely going to find a way.”

Lue did, once again, find a way. The Clippers tightened up their defense in Game 3 against Phoenix, allowing just 93 points. With Kawhi Leonard out, Paul George led the way with 27 points in 43 minutes. He also had 15 rebounds and eight assists.

The three straight wins in Game 3 are an illustration of why the Clippers hired Lue. Richard Jefferson, who played for Lue alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said he always enjoyed watching Lue and LeBron go back-and-forth in practice and games. Those Cavs, of course, erased a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals to capture a title.

Lue called out LeBron during halftime of Game 7 in that series.

“That takes some f—ing balls,” Jefferson said of Lue calling out James. “And that takes some f—ing confidence. Not many motherf—er got that s—.

“Everyone talks about Bron’s IQ, and T-Lue can [always answer him]. T-Lue has his respect.”

It’s too early to say if Lue’s Clippers will come back and win another series, but the coach’s first postseason run as the head coach in L.A should be viewed as a success. The team has shown tremendous fight and continues to do so even with Leonard injured. Given the way Rivers’ season ended and how one of his former players roasted him, the Clippers have to feel good about their coaching change right about now.

Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here:


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