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Patrick Beverley: Clippers Joke About Ty Lue Adjustments; Call HC Bill Belichick

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 23, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has had an interesting postseason run, but his strategy has helped guide his team to the Western Conference Finals. 

Speaking to reporters after Tuesday's 104-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns, Patrick Beverley said Clippers players will often make jokes and refer to Lue as legendary NFL head coach Bill Belichick for his constant lineup tinkering. 

Belichick has been notorious throughout his career with the New England Patriots for using whatever means necessary to exploit the weakness of an opponent. The results speak for themselves, as he has won six Super Bowls. 

The Clippers are in a 2-0 hole for the third consecutive series this postseason. That has turned out to be a dangerous position for their opposition, as the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz discovered. 

Lue's most significant adjustment through the first two rounds was going with a smaller lineup. 

The 6'8" Nicolas Batum, who played 50 minutes in the first two games against Dallas, averaged 34 minutes over the next 11 contests. Ivica Zubac, 7'0", averaged 20.6 minutes in Games 1 and 2 against the Mavericks, but his playing time dropped to 12.3 minutes per contest in 11 games after that. 

Whatever adjustments Lue has left will be desperately needed since Kawhi Leonard has missed the first two games with a knee injury. 

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Los Angeles continues to be coy about the star's status. 

The Suns have taken the series lead despite not having Chris Paul available because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Phoenix is hopeful he can return for Game 3. 

The Western Conference Finals will shift to Staples Center for Game 3. The Clippers will look to get back in the series Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. 

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