The Clippers came back from two 2-0 deficits in last year’s postseason, the first team in league history to do so (until the Bucks repeated the feat in the NBA Finals). Their ability to change the tenor of the series midway through was credit to head coach Ty Lue and his adjustments.
As such, it comes as little surprise that in NBA.com’s annual survey of the league’s 30 general managers, Lue was voted as the best coach for in-game adjustments with 37 percent of the vote (or 11 GMs). Lue also finished in a four-way tie for second as best manager/motivator of people behind Monty Williams. Surprisingly, the Clippers coach didn’t get any votes for the coach that runs the best offense, though he did get one vote for best defensive scheme.
Kawhi Leonard’s name also popped up throughout the survey. He got 7 percent of the votes for best small forward in the league after Kevin Durant (67 percent) and LeBron James (17 percent). Leonard got 10 percent of the votes for best defender in the league, tied for Jrue Holiday behind Giannis Antetokounmpo (47 percent) and Rudy Gobert (17 percent). Leonard also came in a tie for the third-best perimeter defender, once again with 10 percent of the vote, as Holiday captured half of the votes for first place.
Overall, the Clippers are projected to finish sixth in the West, a year after the GMs pegged them for second and they ended up in fourth. Looking back at last year’s survey, it’s clear that many of these answers are pure guesswork. The one thing the 2020 survey got right was the GMs did say that the Clippers had the most underrated offseason acquisition — but they thought that would be Serge Ibaka, not Nicolas Batum.
Nevertheless, it’s a fun list to peruse and some bulletin board material for the remainder of the season.
More news for Wednesday:
- The Clippers play their second game of the preseason tonight against Sacramento. Check out our preview, with a focus on the Eric Bledsoe/Ivica Zubac pick-and-roll pairing.
- Here is the NBA.com Clippers season preview.
- Marc Stein performs the excruciating exercise of selecting the greatest 75 players in NBA history.
- It’s Bonus Watch with Bobby Marks, including a quick explanation of the incentives in Luke Kennard’s contract.
- This was just fun.