Lue and Golden State head coach Steve Kerr are coaching Team USA as it prepares for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The former Cavs head coach shared what it is like to use plays that he spent years facing in Cleveland.
“Now I’m finally getting a chance to coach the actions that we played against for four years,” Lue said. “A lot of the quick action that we run (on Team USA), with the high pick away with the bigs and the guards coming off that screen, we get a lot of that. And then we really haven’t had a chance to see the end-game stuff because there hasn’t been a lot of close games, but in end-of-game situations in practice, like the need-3s and need-2s (the Warriors run), we’ve gotten a chance to see them a lot as well.”
It’s pretty cool to see Lue on the opposite side of things after he coached the Cavs in the NBA Finals against Golden State. Lue really made a name for himself in the coaching world by helping LeBron James and the Cavaliers to an NBA title in the 2015-16 season after the Cavs went down 3-1 in the Finals to the Warriors.
Golden State’s offense is very free-flowing with guard Stephen Curry and sharpshooter Klay Thompson finding ways to get open off the ball with ease. Curry is deadly on the ball as well, but the Warriors’ constant movement makes him even harder to guard.
The Cavs had some great teams during Lue’s tenure with the franchise, and he led the team to 50-win seasons in the 2016-17 campaign and 2017-18 campaign. Cleveland made the NBA Finals in both of those seasons.
Lue has been Los Angeles’ head coach since the 2020-21 season, but the team has yet to make an NBA Finals with him at the helm. He was also an assistant for the Clippers during the 2019-20 campaign.
In the 2020-21 campaign, Lue’s first as Los Angeles’ head coach, the Clippers made the Western Conference Finals, but they ended up losing to the Phoenix Suns.
The Clippers didn’t have superstar Kawhi Leonard in that series, as he tore his ACL in the team’s previous series against the Utah Jazz.
During the 2021-22 season, Leonard was held out for the entire campaign, and George was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Last season, George was injured for the team’s first-round matchup with the Suns, and Leonard ended up going down with an injury in the series as well.
Lue hasn’t really been able to catch a break with the Clippers, so hopefully he and Kerr can work together to lead Team USA to success in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.