Golden State Warriors v LA Clippers - Game Three

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 18: Sindarius Thornwell #0 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers arrive at the arena before Game Three of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 18, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO

NBAE/Getty Images

Regardless of the stature, every single player on the Clippers from 2017-2019 was significant.

Three days ago, former Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a move that didn’t make the same noise as the signings of Kawhi Leonard & Paul George, but Thornwell’s presence was certainly felt in the Clippers’ locker room.

The 2019 LA Clippers were a special Cinderella group of a team. They over-accomplished, didn’t have a single player that was an All-Star, made the playoffs, had the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history, and the team contained one of the most selfless groups in the NBA. When a coach talks about culture and ‘buying in’, the 2019 LA Clippers were the definition of it. That same culture is what helped lure NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the team.

While Thornwell didn’t get much playing time last season (4.9 MPG), he came in with an attitude that improved team chemistry. Time after time, Thornwell was called in by head coach Doc Rivers to defend a last second possession in a quarter. It’s a situation that requires immense patience – to practice every single day, but get potentially 10 seconds of playing time. He was a guy who always talked about defensive schemes on the bench, and stayed locked in.

Regardless of whatever his playing situation was, Thornwell came into the Clippers locker room with all smiles, and a dedication to becoming a better player. He was a guy that made coming to work more fun for every other player, and there was a reason why current Clipper players like Patrick Beverley congratulated Thornwell when he signed with the Cavaliers.

All it takes is one toxic player to shift the culture in a locker room; Thornwell could have easily been that player, but instead he chose the higher ground.

Taking it back a step further to the 2018 season, Sindarius Thornwell was more than just a locker room guy. In a season where nearly the entire starting lineup was injured all season long, Thornwell had to step up. He was given the opportunity to average 15MPG in 73 games played, and be a part of 17 starts. While Thornwell didn’t put up spectacular offensive numbers (3.9PPG), his defensive presence was noticed. He was fourth in DPRM among all shooting guards in the NBA, and a nuisance all over the court. Similar to a Patrick Beverley, Thornwell was a player who brought intangibles on the court by doing all the dirty work.

If the 2017-2019 Clippers were branded as a team that fought hard and made no excuses, then Sindarius Thornwell deserves as much credit as anyone else for that identity. The 2019 LA Clippers wouldn’t have had the success they had, nor the winning mentality, without Sindarius Thornwell in the 2018 season. If Kawhi Leonard chose the LA Clippers because of their commitment to win, then Thornwell and every single player from the last two seasons helped shape that decision.

If there was anything that the last two seasons of Clipper basketball showed, it’s that every player mattered. Whether it was Tyrone Wallace, Jawun Evans, or Lou Williams, all of them played a role in shaping the Clippers into who they are today.

“>

Regardless of the stature, every single player on the Clippers from 2017-2019 was significant.

Three days ago, former Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a move that didn’t make the same noise as the signings of Kawhi Leonard & Paul George, but Thornwell’s presence was certainly felt in the Clippers’ locker room.

The 2019 LA Clippers were a special Cinderella group of a team. They over-accomplished, didn’t have a single player that was an All-Star, made the playoffs, had the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history, and the team contained one of the most selfless groups in the NBA. When a coach talks about culture and ‘buying in’, the 2019 LA Clippers were the definition of it. That same culture is what helped lure NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the team.

While Thornwell didn’t get much playing time last season (4.9 MPG), he came in with an attitude that improved team chemistry. Time after time, Thornwell was called in by head coach Doc Rivers to defend a last second possession in a quarter. It’s a situation that requires immense patience – to practice every single day, but get potentially 10 seconds of playing time. He was a guy who always talked about defensive schemes on the bench, and stayed locked in.

Regardless of whatever his playing situation was, Thornwell came into the Clippers locker room with all smiles, and a dedication to becoming a better player. He was a guy that made coming to work more fun for every other player, and there was a reason why current Clipper players like Patrick Beverley congratulated Thornwell when he signed with the Cavaliers.

All it takes is one toxic player to shift the culture in a locker room; Thornwell could have easily been that player, but instead he chose the higher ground.

Taking it back a step further to the 2018 season, Sindarius Thornwell was more than just a locker room guy. In a season where nearly the entire starting lineup was injured all season long, Thornwell had to step up. He was given the opportunity to average 15MPG in 73 games played, and be a part of 17 starts. While Thornwell didn’t put up spectacular offensive numbers (3.9PPG), his defensive presence was noticed. He was fourth in DPRM among all shooting guards in the NBA, and a nuisance all over the court. Similar to a Patrick Beverley, Thornwell was a player who brought intangibles on the court by doing all the dirty work.

If the 2017-2019 Clippers were branded as a team that fought hard and made no excuses, then Sindarius Thornwell deserves as much credit as anyone else for that identity. The 2019 LA Clippers wouldn’t have had the success they had, nor the winning mentality, without Sindarius Thornwell in the 2018 season. If Kawhi Leonard chose the LA Clippers because of their commitment to win, then Thornwell and every single player from the last two seasons helped shape that decision.

If there was anything that the last two seasons of Clipper basketball showed, it’s that every player mattered. Whether it was Tyrone Wallace, Jawun Evans, or Lou Williams, all of them played a role in shaping the Clippers into who they are today.





Source link