The factors fueling these wild Clippers comebacks

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

What makes Tyronn Lue’s teams so effective at coming back in a series?

Already, Lue’s LA Clippers have become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 2-0 series deficit twice in the same postseason. After an impressive Game 3 win Thursday in Los Angeles, they’re going to try to make that three against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals.

This is nothing new for Lue, whose Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Overall, Lue’s teams are 15-15 in Games 1 and 2 of their series and a lights-out 35-12 in all other games, including 4-0 in deciding Game 7s.

What accounts for the discrepancy between those first two games and the rest of the series? How realistic is a repeat in this series? Let’s take a deeper look to find out.

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