LA Clippers coach Ty Lue stated he does not “give a rattling” if anybody thinks his staff purposely tanked the ultimate two video games of the common season to drop to the fourth seed in an try to keep away from the potential of taking part in the Los Angeles Lakers within the first spherical of the playoffs.
The Clippers rested stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and different starters and rotation gamers in losses to the lottery-bound Houston Rockets (17-55) and Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (22-50), dropping from third to fourth within the Western Convention playoff seeding. That prompted loads of chatter and criticism that the Clippers (47-25) have been making an attempt to keep away from a possible first-round matchup with the Lakers. Getting into Sunday’s video games, the defending champions had an opportunity of reaching the sixth seed and a first-round matchup with the third seed earlier than ending seventh and touchdown within the play-in sport in opposition to the Golden State Warriors.
“I do not give a rattling what anyone else thinks on the skin,” Lue stated Tuesday when requested in regards to the noise over the Clippers aggressively pursuing relaxation for starters and touchdown on the aspect of the West playoff bracket that they needed. “We determined to go well being over anything. We lastly obtained our staff wholesome, and that’s what we targeted on.”
Lue later added: “No matter folks say on the skin, I do not care. I do not learn Twitter, have Twitter and Insta-twit, all that. I do not care about all that. I’m my very own man and I do what I wish to do, that is how I stay my life.”
The Portland Path Blazers’ win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening relegated the Lakers to seventh. The Clippers’ loss to a Thunder staff that had misplaced 23 of its earlier 24 video games ensured that the Clippers could be fourth. Denver completed third attributable to its tiebreaker over the Clippers.
The Clippers face the Dallas Mavericks for the second straight 12 months within the first spherical. In the event that they eradicate Dallas once more, the Clippers will face the winner of the top-seeded Utah Jazz in opposition to the eighth seed, which might be decided by the play-in match.
For the second straight season, the Clippers had their continuity and chemistry disrupted all through the marketing campaign by accidents to Leonard, George, Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka and Marcus Morris Sr., amongst different key gamers.
Decided to have an extended postseason run than final 12 months, when the Clippers blew a 3-1 collection result in the Nuggets within the second spherical, Lue rested his stars and key gamers whereas taking part in different starters or rotation gamers restricted minutes within the remaining two regular-season video games. Middle Ivica Zubac began the final two video games however performed a complete of 3-plus minutes. After the opening tip in opposition to the Thunder, Zubac fouled instantly so he might come out of the sport.
Lue stated he’ll take well being over rust any day.
“In case you have a look at our Cleveland days, none of our starters performed the final two video games of the season,” stated Lue, the previous Cavaliers coach. “We took well being, and that’s the most vital factor to me.”