In a recent revelation, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue opened up about the impact of Russell Westbrook on the team and why he believes Westbrook is a crucial element of their success. Let’s dive into the details.
Westbrook’s Remarkable Improvement
One of the key takeaways from Russell Westbrook’s stint with the Clippers was his remarkable improvement in various aspects of his game. During the regular season, his turnovers remained steady, while his shooting statistics showed significant growth. Here’s a breakdown:
- Midrange Mastery: Westbrook’s midrange shooting game witnessed a substantial upgrade. His shooting percentage between three to ten feet increased by an impressive 17 percentage points, while his shooting percentage between ten to sixteen feet saw a 15-point boost.
As the Clippers consider keeping Westbrook on board, financial constraints come into play. Due to not having Westbrook’s Bird rights, their offer is limited to a salary close to the minimum, which is projected to be around $3.8 million. However, Coach Tyronn Lue expressed his strong desire to retain Westbrook despite these limitations, highlighting his value to the team.
Several players within the Clippers roster are vocal supporters of Russell Westbrook’s continuation with the team. Paul George, one of the team’s stars, emphasized Westbrook’s leadership and the invaluable role he plays as the point guard.
> "He brings so much to his team, and I mean it’s amazing to watch him. He’s the leader that we need at the point guard position going forward." – Paul George
Adaptability and Value
Russell Westbrook not only adapted to the team’s dynamics but also stepped up when the situation demanded. During the playoffs, when both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were sidelined due to injuries, Westbrook assumed a prominent scoring role, averaging 23.6 points per game – his highest postseason average in five years.
Despite the challenges, Westbrook’s field-goal percentage remained respectable, and his long-range shooting surpassed his career-average levels.
Westbrook’s time with the Clippers has also had a significant impact on his perception of the team’s environment. He lauded the team’s atmosphere as being "happy and enjoyable," a stark contrast to his tumultuous start of the season with the Lakers.
> "A happy and enjoyable environment is something that you don’t see everywhere. Happy to come to work, being around people that actually enjoy their job, enjoy what they’re doing." – Russell Westbrook
What Lies Ahead
The question now is whether this positive experience will lead to a reunion in the coming months. Russell Westbrook is set to become an unrestricted free agent, leaving the decision in the hands of both parties.
As Tyronn Lue succinctly put it, "I want him back, for sure."
In conclusion, Russell Westbrook’s impact on the Clippers has been profound, both on and off the court. Coach Tyronn Lue, the players, and the entire organization acknowledge his contributions and hope for his return in the future. Westbrook’s journey with the Clippers may just be getting started. Stay tuned for developments in July.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue thinks Russell Westbrook is a fit – a statement that could shape the team’s future in the NBA.
The Clippers’ Coaching Stability Amidst NBA Changes
Will Russell Westbrook help the Clippers win a championship?
The Los Angeles Clippers have high hopes for their newly signed point guard, Russell Westbrook, in their quest for a championship this year. Head coach Tyronn Lue emphasizes the importance of allowing Westbrook to play his game, stating, "We want Russ to be Russ." Lue’s approach is to strike a balance; the team will provide guidance if Westbrook veers off course, ensuring he contributes effectively without undue pressure.
Why did the Clippers promote Mike Lue in 2020?
In 2020, the Clippers made the decision to promote Mike Lue over other candidates, including future Lakers coach Darvin Ham and future Sacramento coach Mike Brown. This choice was based on their belief that Lue was the most suitable candidate to lead a team with two superstars and championship aspirations. Importantly, their confidence in this decision remains unchanged.
Will Tyronn Lue return?
Will Tyronn Lue return for a fourth season? Coach Tyronn Lue himself expressed his expectation to do so. Additionally, Lawrence Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations, left no room for doubt, affirming that Lue would indeed be returning. Frank’s statement on April 27 was resolute, saying, “Of course he’s back. Ty is a terrific coach, and we’re excited to have him as our coach.”
Are the Clippers still without a head coach?
Do the Clippers still lack a head coach? While some NBA teams arrived at the league’s scouting combine in Chicago without a head coach, the Clippers are not part of that group. Unlike teams like Milwaukee, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Detroit, the Clippers have remained consistent in their coaching staff since the final day of their first-round exit in April.