Norman Powell, Robert Covington’s Learning Curve Isn’t Too Steep – San Gabriel Valley Tribune
LOS ANGELES — Before the new Clippers took to the field as Clippers for the first time, they went to dinner with their new head coach to get to know each other — and come to find out, Norman Powell, Robert Covington and the Clippers have already a lot in common.
“Well, Chauncey ran a lot of my business in Portland,” coach Tyronn Lue said with a chuckle, noting that his good friend and former assistant Chauncey Billups borrowed a lot from his playbook as he grew. head coach for the first time this season.
“Me and Chauncey deal with a lot of the same things,” Lue said. “Pretty much the same system, especially the early attacking stuff. And so they just talked at dinner last night… ‘We understand what we’re looking for.’ The most important thing is that these guys feel comfortable and understand who they play with on the court and pick and choose their spots.
Plus, Lue’s familiarity with Powell — who arrived in Los Angeles with Covington on Saturday, the day after the trade that sent point guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Justise Winslow, guard Keon Johnson and a second-round pick in 2025 in Portland – expands beyond the playbook.
The coach said he got to know Powell, the 28-year-old winger who played at UCLA, through Kyle Lowry – Lue’s boyfriend and Powell’s former Toronto Raptors teammate. Also, Lue said, he and Powell both live in Las Vegas during the offseason.
MANAGE THE STITCH
As the Clippers’ new additions began a not too steep acclimation process, so did Terance Mann. Without Bledsoe on the roster, the third-year winger was going to be tasked with playing backup point guard – as he had as a rookie.
Last season – Mann’s second – was a breakout campaign for the 25-year-old all-rounder. He earned a two-year, $22 million extension thanks to his performances throughout the season and in the playoffs, when his 39-point blowout in Game 6 of the Clippers’ Western Conference second-round series propelled the Clippers into their first Western Conference Finals appearance. in the history of the team.
Mann said he prided himself on being able to handle a variety of roles and responsibilities, offensively and defensively, but Lue said last season he believed Mann’s leap forward was down to him not had more to deal with the point.
“With Terance, the most important thing is to release him, to let him be a basketball player,” Lue said last March. “I’m not trying to make him a playmaker, even though he has great passing ability. I think if you go to the NBA from college and never play the position, I think he thought a lot on the court, just trying to play error-free basketball.
“Now we’ve taken him out of basketball, he’s able to bounce and push and attack on the other side, he’s able to create and just play basketball and play freely and I think it helped his development as well.”
This time around, Lue said the second-string playmaking duties wouldn’t fall entirely to Mann, that he would share the role with Powell and Amir Coffey.
“Doc had him play point guard when he was here,” Lue said. “So he has some experience in that area so we’re just going to have to help him, it’s going to take him a bit of time, we understand that, so we have to be patient.”