Clippers’ Terance Mann adapts to his ever-changing role

Clippers’ Terance Mann adapts to his ever-changing role

Terance Mann’s role this season has fluctuated from bench player to starter to bench player again. From small-ball center to shooting guard to ball handler. Yet, the fourth-year player has never wavered when asked to change.

He always says yes.

“That’s just my role on the team, that’s the role I carved out in the NBA for myself,” Mann

Mann finally had found a measure of consistency when he replaced former Clippers guard Reggie Jackson in the starting lineup. That was until the Clippers added All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook to the revolving door of guards, sending Mann back to the bench. Both his minutes and scoring opportunities have diminished.

Mann had started in 22 of the Clippers’ 23 games since January, and scored in double figures in six consecutive games. He has scored in double digits just once since Westbrook joined the team.

“It’s all right,” Mann said Monday. “Kind of reminds me of the position I had (before). I think I’ve been here before earlier in the year. Same sort of role if I can recall. But it’s been going all right. Just figuring it out. New unit. New voices out there. Different looks. So just sifting it out, sifting through it.”

Mann said he has accepted whatever role Coach Tyronn Lue has in mind, knowing it could change on a nightly basis.

“You know, they just want me to go out there and bring energy. Play some defense,” Mann said. “I think I can do a way better job defensively than I had been doing. But just bring energy on the offensive. Make shots and play defense. And I think that’s going to be my role on this team, from here on out.”

Mann is not the only guard trying to find his footing since the trade deadline. Eric Gordon came to the Clippers in a trade with the Houston Rockets, where he started 47 games this season. He has started two of eight games for the Clippers, including Sunday’s victory against the Memphis Grizzlies, and has averaged 10.3 points and 2.4 assists since arriving in Los Angeles.

Whether he starts Wednesday alongside Westbrook again when the Clippers face the Toronto Raptors remains to be seen.

“Just getting more comfortable and find my role,” Gordon said before Tuesday’s practice. “It is definitely going to take some time and hopefully I can just continue playing the way I’ve been playing and also do more.”

Gordon said being on a heavy-guard roster is going to take adjusting, not just for the 16-year veteran but for the entire corps.

“You just have to get adjusted with everybody and just have a good understanding and feel for everybody during the game,” Gordon said. “I feel like I can really help this team in a lot of different ways because I’ve been able to shoot and play make.

“I just try to make the most of it when I do have the ball.”

Mann wouldn’t say the rotating lineups are chaotic, just different.

“Obviously, it’s just a whole different team,” Mann said. “It’s brand new people with us, different vibes, different energy, different playing styles. So, it’s different. And I guess it’s taking us time to get used to, obviously.”


After practice, the team joined a contingent of team officials, including Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, for a ceremonial topping off of the Intuit Dome in Inglewood. After watching the final steel beam – signed by officials and construction crew members – get placed on the roof, the team got its first look at the $2 billion arena that is scheduled to open in 2024.