NBA

Mann: Clippers knew they were ‘mentally stronger’ than Jazz in 2021

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In all of the sport’s great comebacks, fans will forever reflect on exactly when the tables have turned. Whether it’s a rousing speech from the coach, an injury to a key opposition player or your own team’s star player, deciding enough is enough – although we often don’t know never really what altered the momentum of the biggest clashes.

However, when the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 25-point deficit in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz, it’s unlikely any fan attributed it to any of the above. -above.

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On the one hand, our star player Kawhi Leonard was injured in Game 5 of the series, Donovan Mitchell was still on the court as the walls crumbled around his team, and Ty Lue doesn’t necessarily seem the type. for a big emotional monologue to remind his guys who they are.

No, it will of course forever be remembered as the “Terance Mann game”, although there are a few key factors that contributed to such a swing happening. Yet the man himself told Jon Lee and Jack Coghlan of the ‘Courtside’ podcast that there was one weakness he and his teammates knew about their opponents before he personally went on to score 25 points. in the second half – leaving him with a final tally of 39 from 7 out of 10 from 3-point range.

“We were down 25 or something but… We knew we were mentally stronger than their team so we knew we were going to get back in the game and give ourselves a chance.

“Everyone was confident about it at half-time and that was the kind of talk; we know what they are capable of, we know they will let us back into the game. Once we get back into the game, stick to the game plan and do what we do.

It’s just the latest revelation in a long line of bad looks for Utah, which blew them up this summer by firing Quin Snyder and trading Rudy Gobert. Generally, that loss to the Clippers is considered one of the lowest moments of the Mitchell-Gobert big two era, given Kawhi’s injury and the fact that Mann’s previous career record for the 3 made in a match was only two.

That never stopped Mann from believing he was capable of such play, and it’s that belief that continues to drive him to become a key part of this team. It wasn’t just a story of hope, as he said the team had already started planning a big game for him after their decisive Game 5 win at Utah.

“I know I can shoot the 3, the Jazz didn’t believe I could and every time someone drove Rudy Gobert would help out and leave me alone.

“I noticed it in the last game, the game before we won at Utah. I knew going into this game I was going to have a lot of open eyes, so the previous two days I just prepared to knock down 3s.

“While it was happening, I kind of knew it was going to happen, so I was just stuck on catching and shooting. That’s basically what I did, stick to the game plan and that was the game plan.

Terance Mann celebrates with fans after three more falls against the Utah Jazz.

Well, the game plan worked. The Clippers reached their first-ever Western Conference Finals, and while they ended up pulling out in the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns after further injury, it’s probably the most promising end to the season this season. franchise has ever seen.

As for Utah, that loss put even more doubt in everyone’s mind that they had what it takes, which brings us to where we are today. What will happen there remains to be seen, although some may argue that they have already had the final say on their detractors by securing an interim capital record for Gobert.

Anyway, we will always have the “Terance Mann Game”.

Click here to listen to the full Courtside podcast with Terance Mann as he discusses Game 6, Clippers locker room culture and his feelings ahead of the new season.

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