Coach Tyronn Lue‘s dreams of avoiding the play-in tournament are becoming closer to reality, as the Clippers have won six of seven.
The latest came Tuesday, when the Clippers snagged a 113-110 road decision over the Rockets.
Now, the Clippers — minus injured stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George — seem to be finding their way, finding what works, and moving closer to a shot at the playoffs, even if that shot turns out to be rather unconventional.
“It’s going to be tough for us but we got to continue to keep grinding so we don’t have to be in the play-in situation,” Lue told reporters, via Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. “But if we’re in the play-in situation that’s just what we got to do.”
He isn’t even bothered by the idea of watching the standings. That’s not something coaches and players never admit, but something they always do. Lue has no problem tell the truth.
“You can look ahead and see how far ahead teams are and what you got to do to try to catch them,” he said. “t’s just part of the season. I think everybody does that to see where you’re going to end up at.”
Against the Rockets, the Clippers (33-31) again did it as a team, with Ivica Zubac‘s 22 points and 12 rebounds leading the way. Marcus Morris added 18 points, Reggie Jackson scored 17 and Terance Mann and Brandon Boston Jr. had 11 apiece.
This also marks the LA’s fourth straight victory, and with more stretches like this, Lue may not have to worry. Maybe the Clippers can get in the playoffs the old-fashioned way.
That, of course, would be their coach’s preference.
“Being in the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th spot it is tough because the play-in game, anything can happen,” Lue said.
Sam Amico is senior NBA writer at Hoops Wire. Follow him @AmicoHoops.