Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue has revealed that he plans to employ triangle sets this season and use the team's top star Kawhi Leonard like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to winning their first NBA title in 2019, didn't enjoy a successful first season with the Clippers and now the team is exploring ways to utilize their biggest name on the best possible way.
"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, per ESPN.
"[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."
Coach Lue wants to play to Leonard's strengths
2019 NBA Finals MVP Leonard has a strong midrange game and he loves getting to his preferred midrange spots, instead of forcing three pointers. "I think it's a lost art," Lue said of the midrange game.
"I'm a firm believer in, 'why not work on what teams are giving up?' Every team wants to give up the midrange shot, the midrange 2s, and why not continue to work on the shots that teams are giving up. "When you see, even in late-game situations in the fourth quarter, the midrange shots are what wins the games.
Those are the shots you're gonna get in the playoffs as well, so it's great having Lou [Williams], Kawhi, PG, and now Luke [Kennard], who can also make that midrange shot and if you shoot it at a high clip, it's just as good as a 3 for me."
The Clippers finished their preseason with a 0-3 record but Leonard doesn't seem to be too much concerned. "If I can get us in our offense and make sure we [are] running our plays, at a good pace and we are making hard cuts and we're reading our options out there, that makes me happy," Leonard said last week.
"I just want to play better basketball this season. A lot of things last year [were] way too much iso basketball." The Clippers take on the Los Angeles Lakers on the opening night of the season.