During the preseason, Ivica Zubac noted how strange it was not to have Patrick Beverley present in the gym anymore. Beverley was such a consistent vocal leader that Zubac says he still hears Beverley’s voice is his head, even though the point guard is all the way in Minnesota.
Strangely enough, Beverley’s voice running through Zubac’s head might be louder than anyone else’s in Clippers practice. Although Ty Lue is very happy about the team that the front office has assembled for the 2021-22 season, he does acknowledge that this is a quiet group that could use a little more volume on the court.
Zubac says that Reggie Jackson is now the loudest player on the team, and Lue concurs, but only before practice starts.
“I would say Reggie before practice, but then once the game starts and we start playing, everybody’s pretty quiet,” Lue said Friday. “Our whole team is quiet, but we gotta change that on the floor.”
On the court, it sounds like the team’s centers have done a good job of calling out actions on defense. But Lue doesn’t appear convinced. When asked if Isaiah Hartenstein was one of the more vocal players, the head coach was so confused by the premise of the question that he couldn’t say no fast enough.
Ideally, vocal leadership will come from the Clipper veterans, like Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., Eric Bledsoe, and Jackson. Other than Bledsoe, they’ve been in and out of the preseason — or entirely out in Morris’ case — giving them less of an opportunity for their voices to be heard, but that’s changing with the season about to start.
Being quiet isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the Clippers had similar personalities a year ago and did just fine. It’s also hard to ask players to fundamentally change who they are. But the loudest voice in the locker room from the last four years is no longer around, and that has left an opening. Someone will have to fill the silence.
More news for Monday:
- ICYMI: Isaiah Hartenstein earned the team’s final roster spot. He is one of five players signed to training camp deals this year to make the NBA roster.
- Nicolas Batum was honored as the French basketball player of the year. Congrats, Nico!
- The Clippers reportedly signed and waived Nate Darling this weekend to get his G League rights. Darling spent last year on a two-way for the Charlotte Hornets.
- Former Clipper Malik Fitts is signing a two-way deal with Utah.
- Rohit Naimpally goes back and does a statistical dive into the Clippers-Jazz conference semifinals series.
- Kawhi Leonard is trademarking the phrase “CLIP GANG” for merchandising.
- John Schuhmann analyzes the NBA’s 3-point revolution.
- Jake Fischer reports that the Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons situations could result in changes in the next CBA.
- NBA.com has one key stat for each team heading into the season.
- Mo Dakhil tries to determine which players will have to adjust to the new foul rules.