Terance Mann cites Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook as reasons why Clippers can be different team in playoffs

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Terance Mann thinks that the team could be different by the time the playoffs roll around and mentioned two of his teammates in Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook — both of whom have extensive playoff experience — when he explained why he believes that to be the case.

“It comes from Russell Westbrook who has been to the Finals,” Mann said. “It comes from Kawhi Leonard who has multiple rings. It comes from PG (Paul George) and James [Harden] who have been far into the playoffs. … They know what it takes to get there. That’s why my confidence doesn’t waver. Because those guys are on my team.”

Leonard has won two titles in his NBA career, one with the San Antonio Spurs and another as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

The 32-year-old’s first NBA title came in 2014, when he was in just his third season in the pros. Against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, he averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game on incredible shooting splits, as he shot 61.2 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from deep.

Fast forward to near the end of the decade, and Leonard helped lead the Raptors to their first title in franchise history back in 2019. He had one of the more memorable individual playoff runs in modern NBA history, as he averaged 27-plus points per game in all four of Toronto’s playoff series, including 28.5 points per game against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Unsurprisingly, Leonard took home the Finals MVP award for the Raptors.

As for Westbrook, while he has yet to win a title, he has been part of some deep playoff runs during his time in the NBA. Namely, he and the Oklahoma City Thunder reached the 2013 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Heat in five games. More recently, he helped lead the Thunder to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2016.

Leonard and Westbrook could be in for another extended playoff run later this year. The Clippers sit as the No. 4 seed — behind only the Thunder, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves — in the Western Conference standings with an impressive 42-25 record and boast one of the more talented rosters in the league.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.