Former Clipper takes shot at Tyronn Lue after playoff loss
Tyronn Lue has done a bafflingly poor coaching job throughout the season as LA Clippers head coach, and one of his former players has seen enough.
The Clippers, playing without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, lost again on Saturday to the Phoenix Suns to fall behind 3-1 in their first-round playoff series. Despite having better options at his disposal, Lue opted to start and close the game with veteran forward Marcus Morris Sr, who had largely been out of the rotation since March (in a possible front office decision).
As has been the case for much of the year, Morris struggled on both ends. He finished as a -19 overall, shot 3-of-13 from the field (including 1-of-8 from three), and was unable to stay in front of a tortoise on defense (much less Kevin Durant). Despite it all though, Morris received 25 minutes, nearly double that of the other available Clippers power forwards — Nicolas Batum (six minutes) and Robert Covington (eight minutes) — combined.
After the game, which the Clippers lost 112-100, former Clipper Patrick Patterson tweeted some shade for Lue. Patterson, a power forward who played under Lue in 2020-21 (and barely saw the court), accused Lue of continuing to show “favoritism” and said that “things still ain’t changed.”
Ty Lue still continues to show favoritism towards players everyone knows shouldn’t be playing. Amazing to see things still ain’t changed.
— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) April 22, 2023
Lue did a tremendous job coaching the team in his first two years, including leading the Clippers to their first-ever conference finals berth in his first year in 2021. But he has looked nothing like that coach this season.
Among Lue’s many missteps have been an overreliance on an aging Morris (who has now made 66 total starts this year) and a stubborn willingness to play a point guard at all costs (even before Russell Westbrook arrived). Lue has also badly underutilized many of his players (such as Terance Mann and especially Covington, who has been DNP’d for most of the season) and cost the Clippers a number of close regular season games with his insistence on trotting out ramshackle small-ball units (often with three guards or more).
The Clippers have other big issues eating at them right now, not the least of which is the continued inability of George and Leonard to stay healthy. But Lue is not doing himself any favors either and might not even be the head coach of the team next season.