Terance Mann became the unexpected savior for the Los Angeles Clippers, showing up when the team needed an extra piece to defeat the Utah Jazz in the second round of the playoffs. He left with 39 points in Game 6, earning the respect of Clippers fans forever.
His game has evolved over the past two seasons but this year he has reached new heights. Tyronn Lue played a big part in this, according to his mother.
Daynia La-Force, Terance’s mother, was extremely happy when he saw all the love her son received at Staples Center after his impressive 39-point performance.
Well, I burst into tears at the end of the game when I saw 19,000 people at the Staples Center giving my son a standing ovation. I was truly moved to tears because I know how hard he worked to put himself in a position to be an impact player for the Clippers. I know the blood, sweat and tears that led him to have the confidence to shoot the ball the way he did.
Additionally, she credited Lue for her son’s growth. This year the coach has been essential for Mann, unleashing his potential and taking him to different levels. La-Force, who works as an assistant coach for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, explained that Terance’s relationship with Lue is very different from his relationship with Doc Rivers.
But I’ll tell you one thing, you know, because I’m a basketball coach and he grew up in a coaching family. He understands the impact a coach has on a player. He understands the importance of a player-coach relationship. He thinks these things are essential to his success. So last year, I don’t think he had a great player-coach relationship with Doc. I don’t think he got that trust he needed from Doc. And it’s the complete opposite of Ty Lue. You know, Ty Lue is a player’s coach. Ty Lue trusts his players, from No. 1 to No. 12. So I think Ty Lue just said to Terance, ‘You gotta get that shot,’ that’s all Terance really needed. He needs this coach to tell him what he needs, what he needs. And he’s going to walk through a brick wall for any coach who gives him that coaching.
And that’s because he grew up in a coaching family. He doesn’t see basketball as an individual sport, he sees it as a team sport, led by a leader who gets the team to buy into that vision. And without that connection, individually, Terance isn’t a great basketball player. But with coaching, leadership, confidence, with all the intangibles of the mental part of the game, he’s a big league star. And that’s the difference between his first year and his second year. Part of his game is the love of the coach, being coached. Part of his game is getting that confidence, the confidence of the coach and knowing exactly what the coach expects of him. And he’ll take it, run with it, and run through a brick wall for any trainer who gives him that kind of food.
Lue impacted not just Mann but the rest of the Clippers. The team finally reached the Western Conference Finals after 50 years and it’s thanks to the coach, his adjustments and the way he talks to his players.
They had two amazing matches in the WCF, but small details kept them from getting that first victory. It’s time to show they’re not done and make a statement now that they’re heading home.
Mann will try to help his team get those Ws against the dangerous Phoenix Suns by trying to make history again with the Clips.