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#pounditMonday, September 25, 2023

Tyronn Lue has blunt message for critics of Clippers’ playoff exit

Nov 19, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue looks on against New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tyronn Lue had a blunt message for critics of his Los Angeles Clippers’ playoff exit.

Lue spoke with the media after his Clippers lost Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series 136-130. The loss ended the Clippers’ season and sent Phoenix on to the next round.

The Clippers entered the series without Paul George, who is recovering from a knee injury. They played the final three games of the series without Kawhi Leonard, who suffered a knee injury in Game 1.

Lue, who has coached the Clippers for three seasons, was blunt when talking with reporters. He declared that no team would win in the playoffs without their two best players.

“Our two best players got hurt. Take Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) off of Golden State, take (Devin) Booker and [Kevin Durant] off of this team … take the two best players off any team and see if they can win in the playoffs.”

That’s a very valid point.

The Clippers did not pack it in once they lost Leonard and they continued to give Phoenix a challenge. But you can’t realistically expect a team to win in the postseason without their top two players. The Clippers wouldn’t have made the playoffs had Leonard and George been hurt the entire season.

Now we will have to see what happens with Lue given some of the questions about his job status.

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