CLIPPERS CHEMISTRY Kawhi’s star treatment was a problem

CLIPPERS CHEMISTRY Kawhi’s star treatment was a problem

The Clippers are signing Ty Lue to be their new head coach for the next five years. This comes as no surprise; everyone believed this would be the most likely outcome. After a three-week process and considering ten candidates, Steve Ballmer, Lawrence Frank, and Michael Winger decided to promote this year’s assistant coach. 

If Doc Rivers was a problem, how will his lead assistant be the solution? Lue has a track record of being more in tune with the analytical approach the Clippers nurture. To translate that, if analytics show Zubac is playing much better than Harrell, then Zubac will get more minutes on the floor. But I’d say being analytics-friendly or promising to give younger players more minutes is crucial for the Clippers here. 

One of the first things Lue did as a Cavs head coach was going after LeBron. He called him out in front of everyone, and this is the best part, for being out of shape! The best athlete in NBA history was not in peak physical condition in Lue’s view, and he didn’t shy away from calling him out from it. According to recent reports, that’s exactly what the Clippers need. 

“Players like Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams — Clippers bedrocks before the arrival of Leonard and George — bristled when Leonard was permitted to take games off to manage his body and to live in San Diego, which often led to him being late for team flights, league sources said. The team also allowed Leonard to dictate to Rivers when he could be pulled from games, among other things.”

Jovan Buha and Joe Vardon, The Athletic

Kawhi and Paul George joined a gritty team with no clear superstar. A motley crew of overachievers. Getting so much preferential treatment obviously ruined their chemistry, and challenging Kawhi and George should be Lue’s priority. Bringing in Chauncey Billups and Larry Drew as his assistants will greatly help with that. 

Even Playoff P would agree the following season is championship or bust for the Clippers. The last time Lue took over a team, they came back from 3-1 in the Finals. Let’s see if he can pull off that trick again.