The triangle offense has brought a ton of success to certain teams throughout history and has failed for others. However, in the modern NBA, it’s rarely something that is utilized. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue played under Phil Jackson who ran this style of offense with great success nearly 20 years ago.
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, Lue is planning on on utilizing Kawhi Leonard like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant this season by implementing a few triangle sets for the Clippers. This is especially interesting considering Jordan and Bryant are two of the guys that Leonard has studied and molded his mid-range game after over the years.
“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. [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.”
Leonard spent quite a bit of time earlier in his career training with Bryant in the offseason. Could this style of offense work for the Clippers with Leonard being the focal point? In the modern NBA the mid-range game has become less popular but that doesn’t seem to bother Lue as he thinks the mid-range game is a lost art.
“I think it’s a lost art. 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 2’s, 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 mid-range 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 had a disappointing end to the 2019-20 NBA season. They will look to get the upcoming season started off on the right foot on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.