LA Clippers: Role Players Searching For Role

LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers Terance Mann (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Terance Mann (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

In a season riddled with injuries for the LA Clippers, the rotations and lineups have been shaky and unstable. Some of the roles, rotations, and lineups of the team still seem to be a big question.

Since the beginning of the 2019-2020 season, the LA Clippers have started a league-leading eighteen lineups. This instability is mostly due to almost no continuity in personnel through the first half of the year.  Despite that, which let’s make very clear is a legitimate issue, some of the Clippers role players haven’t been able to unlock their potential.

Lawrence Frank, Mike Winger, and Jerry West spent the last couple years putting together a deep rotation of players and specialists to ultimately become a contender for an NBA title. The depth has struggled to prove itself, especially in the last two weeks of play, but the cracks have been exposed for longer than just the stretch since Christmas. Here are a few of the biggest question marks.

Terance Mann

It feels like every 30 seconds the team is announcing that rookie Terance Mann is either being sent down the Clippers G-League affiliate or being called back up. Despite having been the big story coming out of training camp over the summer, Mann hasn’t been able to find meaningful minutes since a two-game stretch in December where the rookie was able to get as many starts.

In the span since Mann seemingly lost his playing time, sophomore Jerome Robinson has been able to find tic in Doc Rivers‘ rotations. Robinson has been a disappointment since being drafted in the first round just one summer ago. He is shooting 27% from three and 34% from the field. Unfortunately, it appears that Robinson is aware of his averages as he has begun passing up open looks when on the floor in favor of making an extra pass.

When comparing the numbers between the two young players there isn’t a whole lot of difference. Mann has struggled shooting from deep, however, he has shot 50% from the field. He also has posted a higher assist rate than Robinson.

The 6-foot 7-inch product of Florida State played point guard while shooting 39% from three and 54% inside the arc along with 2.5 assists a game in his last collegiate season. If the Clippers were to give Mann the minutes Robinson has received then perhaps he can unlock some of the scoring ability from college which would make the Clippers a huge threat, being able to play a guard that would tower over other guards in the league.