Clippers promote Tyronn Lue to head coach with five-year deal

Originally posted on Hoops Rumors | By Luke Adams | Last updated 10/15/20

The Clippers and assistant Tyronn Lue have agreed to a deal that will promote him to fill the team’s head coaching vacancy and lock him up to a new five-year contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Lue was the Clippers’ lead assistant under head coach Doc Rivers during the 2019-20 season. When Rivers and the Clippers parted ways last month, Lue immediately emerged as the front-runner to fill the newly opened head coaching position.

A former head coach in Cleveland, Lue compiled a 128-83 (.607) regular-season record during two full seasons and parts of two others with the Cavs. He led the team to three straight appearances in the NBA Finals, including a championship in his first season as head coach in 2016.

Lue’s championship résumé and his familiarity with the Clippers players were presumably major factors in the team’s decision to promote him to replace Rivers. Wojnarowski previously reported that Lue’s understanding of the pressures of the job was important for Los Angeles. He was also said to have the support of “prominent players” on the roster.

Lue was nearly hired in 2019 by the Lakers but couldn’t reach an agreement with the club on the terms of a deal, prompting the franchise to turn to Frank Vogel. Now, after the Lakers won a championship and the Clippers flamed out two rounds earlier, Lue will be tasked with leading Los Angeles’ other team to title contention. He won’t have much room for error, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both eligible to reach free agency during the 2021 offseason.

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Clippers, not Lakers, now are betting favorites to win 2020 NBA title

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 8/16/20

In a rather interesting turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers no longer are the betting favorites to win the 2020 NBA title.

The Clippers, according to BetOnline.ag, now have the best odds to win the championship this season at +250. Here’s how things stack up in the top five:

  1. Clippers +250
  2. Lakers +300
  3. Milwaukee Bucks +300
  4. Toronto Raptors +1100
  5. Boston Celtics +1200

L.A.’s increased odds come after they won their final two seeding games ahead of the first-round of the playoffs. The Lakers, on the other hand, dropped their final game of the seeding round to the Sacramento Kings.

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Jazz-Pelicans, Clippers-Lakers to begin NBA resumption on July 30

The 22-team model to crown a champion for the 2019-20 NBA season altered by the coronavirus pandemic tips off on July 30 with a pair of intriguing matchups, including one that features same-city rivals. 

As noted by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and others, the Utah Jazz face the New Orleans Pelicans in the resumption opener. The Los Angeles Lakers will play the Los Angeles Clippers in the nightcap. 

July 31 will feature: 

  • Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets 
  • Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers 
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards 
  • Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks 
  • Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs 
  • Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 6/26/20

Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers: Almost Elite

Written by Alex Schubauer at No Coast Bias

A short six months ago, the Houston Rockets playing the Los Angeles Clippers was must-see TV. They were two elite Western Conference teams vying for a spot in the conference finals. The Clippers collapsed and the Rockets moved on, but similar successes were expected for both again this season. You wouldn’t know that by watching their matchup Saturday night.

I wanted to watch the game because they’re two of the most fascinating teams in the league, just for the reasons they’d like. But after only one quarter, I’d seen all I needed (or wanted) to see.

I’ll start with a short prelude. Houston started so badly at 4-7 they fired Kevin McHale, the guy who coached the team to the conference finals half a year earlier. They’ve since worked their way back to mediocrity at 13-14. The Clippers, on the other hand, have a merely good record of 16-11, but are playing more like a league average team. It was a battle of two teams who aren’t what they once were, and desperately wanted to be.

I’m now going to list some things I saw in just the first twelve minutes of this game, prepare yourselves:

  • Trevor Ariza scoring off the opening tip before the Clippers could get in a defensive stance
  • Dwight Howard throwing a pass off Patrick Beverly’s face
  • both teams giving up wide open looks on defense
  • both teams failing to convert those wide open looks
  • Clint Capela losing the ball on his way up for an easy dunk
  • James Harden missing two wide open threes within five seconds
  • Luc Mbah a Moute clanking a corner three off the side of the backboard
  • Wesley Johnson airballing a corner three far over the rim
  • Blake Griffin putting a sick crossover on Donatas Montiejunas then dribbling off his knee
  • probably more, it was tough to watch for long stretches at a time

Around that point, the benches came in. I barely even noticed at that point that the Rockets were running away with the game handily. Because you saw just a few glimpses from each team of what they could be; the rest was just a blur of blah. Remember, these are supposed to be championship contenders.

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The Warriors and Clippers Create Clarity and Confusion, Setting the Scene for the Season


Written by Matt Zemek at Bloguin

Life is full of contradictions and counterintuitive truths. The theater of athletic competition — unscripted and chaotic — is representative of this messy and inconvenient existence in a world that’s hard to understand.

In the present-day NBA, no rivalry is harder to understand than the one between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers. This is a contest which sows clarity and confusion at the same time.

Where to begin with the Dubs and the Clips after the reigning champions preserved their unbeaten record by erasing a 23-point deficit to pull out a 124-117 win on Thursday night, with TNT pulling in a smashing 11.0 rating for the event?

In many ways, the story of this game is that there’s no shortage of stories to be found.

Here lies the heart of this construct of clarity and confusion, sitting together on a crowded passenger train: The Warrior-Clipper rivalry is at once so fiercely contested and yet so utterly imbalanced. These teams go at each other so ferociously and with such unrelenting vigor, and yet one team is so thoroughly superior to the other in terms of closing games; owning big moments; and establishing the kind of consistency professional excellence requires. Golden State-Los Angeles is bitterly contentious and contextually lopsided.

How else to explain the overflowing confidence of #NBATwitter — and of many casual fans — when the Warriors fell behind by 23 in the first half, and even when they again fell behind by 10 midway through the fourth quarter?

There is such deep belief in the power of these Warriors to succeed, and just as much belief in the ability of these Clippers to squander prosperity. Stephen Curry’s overwhelmingly awesome start to this new season as the reigning MVP — reminding us that he’s the best player in the league in the present tense (though not the best player on the planet in a larger sense; that’s still LeBron James) — is responsible for the faith and trust the Dubs are accumulating. The Clippers’ gack attack in Game 6 against the Houston Rockets last May is responsible for the public’s bottomless reservoir of doubt.

Thursday night, these beliefs and the narratives attached to them were resoundingly reaffirmed. Viewed through these lenses, Dubs-Clips gave us even more clarity.

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Chris Paul, J.J. Redick Availability Uncertain for Clippers-Warriors Round 2


Written by Joe Mags at Bloguin

On Wednesday, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said his starting backcourt is questionablefor Thursday’s marque matchup in L.A. against the reigning champion Warriors. Chris Paul, always in the discussion for MVP, and J.J. Redick, the team’s best shooter, have both missed multiple games in a row with injury.

The contentious rivalry between the NBA’s premiere offensive teams, featuring the game’s greatest lead guards and a collection of the best two-way talents and playmakers in the world, yielded the best game of the early season — the undefeated Warriors held on to beat the Clippers, 112-108.

When L.A. has been healthy, the team has been scoring at a league-high pace and defending just enough, per the norm. But without Paul and Redick, it’s unlikely Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and a band of red-faced reserves can beat the brutal machine in blue and gold.

On Thursday afternoon, however, Clippers fans received good news from shootaround. Paul and Redick looked alright:

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Lance Starts Cold While Clippers Remain Red Hot

Written by Joe Mags at Bloguin

Lance Stephenson hit his first shot of his first possession as a Clipper — a 3-pointer no less — as the shot clock wound down against the Kings. The much-maligned wing was acquired on the cheap by Los Angeles to inject youthful athleticism to a dusty roster, and maybe, just maybe, he’d regain some of the charm that he fostered in Indiana. Stephenson hit his second shot too — bouncing hard off a screen by Blake Griffin. The possibilities exist for Stephenson to be a fruitful penetrator around Griffin and DeAndre Jordan dunks, sparing regular season wear-and-tear on Chris Paul and adding a second dimension to the Clippers’ already league-high offense.

Alas, the Stephenson question marks have promptly sprouted up after four games. The swingman has made just seven of his last 20 shots, including 2-7 3PA total over four games. He’s attempted three foul shots, and he’s playing only 20.8 minutes per game. He’s averaging 5.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

The good news for Clipper fans is the team hasn’t seemed to be fazed at all. Los Angeles is 4-0 and its potent starting lineup is once again a two-way powerhouse — scoring 116.4 points per 100 possessions and posting a defensive rating of 90.8, per NBA.com. The starters have an assist percentage of 60.5 and assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.42 in 75 minutes. And this is with Paul off to a sluggish start for his illustrious standards.

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Doc Rivers Can Help the Clippers by Speaking Less

Written by Matt Zemek at Bloguin

We all saw how the Los Angeles Clippers bowed out of the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

It wasn’t just the act of losing what had been a lead of nearly 20 points. It wasn’t just the act of losing a 12-point lead in roughly eight minutes. It wasn’t just the fact that the Clippers had been relatively unbothered in the first five games and three quarters of this series. It wasn’t just that Los Angeles blew Game 6 on its home floor, roughly two weeks after beating the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on that same floor in a Game 7.

The worst and most embarrassing aspect of the Clippers’ loss — the loss which didn’t eliminate them, but essentially prevented them from making the first conference finals series in franchise history — was that the Houston Rockets’ comeback was achieved with James Harden sitting on the bench. Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, and other role players powered a rally which overwhelmed Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick, and the rest of a team which was supposed to take the next step.

Were the Golden State Warriors lucky to not have to play the Clippers in the 2015 Western Conference Finals? Of course they were. Yet, let’s acknowledge this: In sports, the presence of luck might exist beyond dispute, but the way in which luck emerges should also be considered and absorbed.

Realize this about tournaments of any sort: It’s one thing to avoid playing a given opponent because that opponent lost in a previous round, but it means something different when that feared (or more difficult) opponent loses because it didn’t play well.

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