Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is rewriting history. During his stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, people poked fun at him for seemingly not knowing what to do. For them, it was LeBron James who was the actual coach of the squad and was the sole mastermind behind the epic 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Now in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, people are finally giving Lue the respect he deserves. The wins speak for themselves. Analysts have been endlessly talking about Lue and the adjustments he made during his 0-2 comebacks. Whether the Clippers head to the NBA Finals and win it all is a matter of wait-and-see. But at this point, throwing some slander at Lue’s name will only be done by fools who don’t understand the game. Lue has done enough to be respected as one of the best coaches in the NBA.

Tyronn Lue deserves your respect

Clippers, Tyronn Lue, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

Comeback Coaching King

As of writing, Tyronn Lue has mounted two consecutive comebacks from a 0-2 deficit. He’s still in the process of mounting another one against the Phoenix Suns with the series at 3-2. Whatever the result of that series is, we cannot deny that Lue has mastered the art of the comeback. It all boils down to Lue’s ability to make the right adjustment by tweaking his playbook, making line-up changes, taking what the other team is giving him, among others. Let’s walk through some of Lue’s adjustments in the 2021 NBA Playoffs so far.

The series against the Utah Jazz was simply a showcase on why the Clippers are the better team and why Lue is the better coach. He allowed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to play their game. He did not panic whenever Donovan Mitchell or Jordan Clarkson hit those crazy shots from deep. Lue knows that at the end of the day, those are low percentage shots and the two will run out of gas soon.

Against the Mavericks, it was clear early on that Rick Carlisle planned to abuse the heck out of the Ivica Zubac by forcing him to switch on Luka Doncic. Lue was quick to spot this and was courageous enough to just take Zubac off the floor. The same adjustment was applied to Patrick Beverley. When the Mavs decided to play zone, Lue benched the veteran guard as he doesn’t have the smoothest strokes out there. Apart from this, he made Kawhi the initial offensive threat which easily forced the Mavs zone defense to overreact and eventually collapse easily.

So far with the Suns, Lue has been showing a zone defense which Monty Williams and crew haven’t countered effectively just yet. This limited the Suns’ points in the paint. A look at the first two games reveals that the Suns essentially beat up the Clippers in the paint. So Lue definitely made the right choice.

Of course, we can’t forget about the 3-1 comeback against the 73-win Warriors squad. That in itself should’ve established Lue as one of the great playoff coaches.

Are you 1000% an NBA fan?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch newsletter.

*Sign up now and receive your own one-of-a-kind ClutchPoints photoshop with yourself and your favorite player!

Lue is a True Players’ Coach

Such adjustments are only possible if a coach knows his players very well. And we can say that this may be Lue’s main strength as a head coach. With the Cavaliers, Lue utilized LeBron James’ size and vision by involving him in low and high post plays. Lue set up lots of motion plays involving shooters like Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and JR Smith to keep the defense guessing. If there’s no opening, James could just take matters into his own hands. You can say that Lue was the first coach to frequently put James in this position and Frank Vogel built on it with the Lakers.

We’ve heard analysts and fans say that the midrange game is dead. This is the era of the 3-point shot. But why do we see Kawhi Leonard drain those mid-range shots with ease either through pull-ups or post-ups? That’s because Lue has given him the keys to play his game. This shows Lue’s great understanding of the game. Yes, the 3-point shot is worth more. But common sense tells us that the farther away you are from the basket, the lower your percentage will be. Not everyone is Stephen Curry.

Lue’s biggest accomplishment might be empowering Terrence Mann. The 48th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft averaged just 7.0 points per game in the regular season. Who knew that he was capable of that 39-point game which booted out the Jazz? Tyronn Lue of course. Props to Mann for knocking down those 3-pointers. Lue deserves credit, too, for continuing to set him up. It didn’t matter if Mann was inexperienced or whatnot. Lue observed how Mann was playing his heart out and gave rewarded him by giving him more playing time.