Tyronn Lue won a championship playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, another as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now he’s looking to guide Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the L.A. Clippers franchise to new heights.
Lue was an assistant on Doc Rivers’ staff in 2019-20 when the team shockingly blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs. The collapse prompted the Clippers to make a change at head coach.
Lue’s championship pedigree both as a player and a coach makes him the perfect person for the Clippers position. He’s shown a willingness to make adjustments in the playoffs — something Rivers has failed to do — and the Clippers are hopeful he can solve some of the culture issues.
One of the biggest changes Lue planning on making is to bring in something he learned from his time with Phil Jackson and the Lakers. Lue plans to implement aspects of the triangle offense with Leonard serving as the Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan role, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“We have put in two or three sets from the triangle and let Kawhi play in those spaces where Kobe and Jordan played in those spots as well,” said Lue, who played for Phil Jackson, where he learned the triangle. “[Leonard] loves those two players. He really respects and looks up to those guys, so we’re just trying to put him in positions [to succeed]. I was able to play with both those guys, but I also played in the triangle, so just trying to teach him that as well as teaching our team as well.”
By implementing some aspects of the triangle offense, Lue is already showing his willingness to enact change for the Clippers. Last season the Clippers truly did not have an on-court identity, as they were rarely at full strength and almost never practiced together as a team.
Perhaps this season will be different for them, as they’ll have a chance to change the bad narratives that have surrounded them in the past few months.
Assuming the Clippers are already comfortable enough with the triangle sets, the L.A. Lakers presumably will get the first look on Opening Night.
LeBron James shocked that Clippers blew 3-1 lead
Much like the rest of the basketball world, LeBron James admitted that he was shocked to see the Clippers blow a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets. And while he tried to be diplomatic about it, he said that the Clippers put themselves in that situation with their overconfidence.
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