Clippers rookie Terance Mann continues to evolve as a point guard
The transition to point guard has not overwhelmed Clippers rookie Terance Mann, only because he played the position before, just not in college.
He is now recalling what it was like to be a point guard at Tilton School in New Hampshire to ease his way back into being the facilitator after spending the last four years at Florida State mostly playing the wing.
“Yeah, it’s definitely coming back,” the 6-foot-7 Mann said Saturday afternoon at the Clippers’ Feed the Community event that provided meals for 1,000 families at the Salvation Army’s Siemon Family Youth & Community Center in South Los Angeles.
“It’s taking a little while because I haven’t done it in four years consistently. But I’m around good guys who are helping me out. Pat Beverley is helping me out a lot. Lou [Williams]. Everybody is helping me out. So it’s good.”
Many consider point guard as the most difficult position to navigate in the NBA. Now Mann has all these people in his ear trying to help, but he sees that as an advantage, especially knowing that coach Doc Rivers was a point guard in the NBA.
Mann’s willingness to learn worked out OK during the exhibition season, when he averaged 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
“I just think the things I hear consistently are the right things to go with,” Mann said. “And the stuff that I hear consistently is what I’m going to continue to listen to.
Rookie guard Terance Mann has a strong connection to the Clippers because of a longstanding relationship with scouts Leo Papile and Paul Hewitt.
“It’s like a dream come true to learn from a guy like him [Rivers], helping me with this point guard position. So it’s a lot of fun.”
Mann, who just turned 23 on Friday, said he watched a lot of tape on former NBA point guard Penny Hardaway, who is also 6-7, and used that as his guide.
“I just liked the way he played, liked the way he got downhill with the ball,” Mann said. “I liked the way he scored the ball, stuff like that.”
McGruder’s ankle injury improving
Guard Rodney McGruder was having a good training camp until a sprained right ankle forced him to miss the final three exhibition games.
McGruder said he’s not sure if he’ll be ready for the season opener when they host the Lakers on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
“It’s getting better. I’ve been just trying to attack that,” McGruder said of rehab, “and use that as my practice and my game right now until I am back out there.”
The Clippers waived BJ Taylor and Donte Grantham on Saturday.
The Clippers call themselves prepared for a season that begins Tuesday against the Lakers, but they’ll have to build their rhythm as they integrate Paul George.
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