NBA news: Despite the absence of two key players, the Los Angeles Clippers remain in the middle of the postseason race.
The Clippers’ front team needed to approach their coach at this point. The topic, without a doubt, was the team’s persistent troubles. However, Clippers head of basketball operations Lawrence Frank did not speak with Clippers coach Tyronn Lue to criticize his faults.
Frank, on the other hand, spoke to Lue to provide positive encouragement. “You can’t focus on the moment,” Frank reportedly told Lue. “You must consider the long term.”
Lue told NBA.com that he found the chat comforting as the Clippers prepare for their 2021-22 season. The Clippers (36-39) are not just coming off a five-game losing skid when they play the Utah Jazz (45-30) on Tuesday (10 ET, TNT).
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They have also battled with other difficulties that have contributed to their recent struggles.
NBA news: Clippers continue despite struggles
After having offseason surgery to repair a partial tear in his right ACL, Kawhi Leonard has been out the whole season. Paul George hasn’t played since Dec. 22 due to a damaged ligament in his right elbow and has been upgraded to doubtful for Tuesday’s game.
Norman Powell played only three games after being acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers before the NBA trade deadline, and he has been out for the last 18 with a broken bone in his left foot. “I’m hoping to win.”
“I’m a rival,” Lue said. “However, you must frequently consider the larger picture. That was one of Lawrence’s lessons for me.”
The Clippers hold a four-game lead over the Pelicans for the Western Conference’s eighth spot. As a result, the Clippers would only need to win one of two possible Play-In Tournament games to secure a postseason berth.
In the last 25 seasons, the Clippers have been the first NBA team to come back from a 24-point deficit in three different games. And they’ve done it despite a roster that has missed a total of 349 games due to injuries or COVID-19.
“I believe it’ll be a big accomplishment if we can get this team into the playoffs with what we’ve got right here and the effort these players have put in,” Lue said. “It’s difficult. It’s a major accomplishment for this young squad to have no All-Stars and yet have a chance to make the playoffs.”
These events have come as no surprise to many around the Clippers and the rest of the NBA. The Clippers have gotten used to both learning from failure and responding to adversity during the last two seasons.
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