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Clippings: Ty Lue will have to be the comeback king once more

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Fortunately, he’s well prepared for the challenge.

2021 NBA Playoffs - LA Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers have been the comeback kids all postseason, and to a man, they have credited the leadership of Ty Lue in putting them in position to rally in series.

“He’s always calm,” Marcus Morris Sr. says about the team’s head coach. “He always has a chill demeanor and we know we are able to go to him and talk about things on the fly and adjust on the fly. He listens to the players and he allows us to be us.”

The Clippers have already rallied from two 2-0 deficits in this year’s playoffs, including having to win an elimination game in Dallas in the first round down 3-2. They dug themselves a bigger hole in his series, falling behind 3-1.

They’ve been down, but they’re not out yet, and that’s just as it’s been for Lue throughout his coaching career.

In his first postseason as a head coach, Lue was down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, and helmed a historic comeback as the Cavaliers won their first championship in franchise history. It’s the only time a team has ever come back from that deficit in the Finals. In 2018, Lue and Cleveland came back from being down 2-1 to Indiana in the first round. The Cavaliers trailed 2-0 in the conference finals, and then 3-2, before coming back to win the final two games to claim the Eastern Conference crown.

In total, Lue’s teams are 10-2 in elimination games in the playoffs, the best win percentage in NBA history. Admittedly, Lue had LeBron James, and then Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but great players lose in the postseason all the time. They just lose less when they’re coached by Lue.

And if the Clippers manage to win tonight and force a Game 7, know that Lue-coached teams are 12-1 in closeout games, also the best mark in NBA history.

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