Lue fits, and Cavs proving they know it

Sam Amico

For the Cavaliers and their coach, there was never a moment of doubt.

Tyronn Lue won a championship. General manager David Griffin and the people running the Cavs were sold on Lue even before that.

So it only made sense for the Cavs to offer Lue a contract extension -- and for Lue to accept. The players respect him, he never stopped believing in them, and he was the man in charge when Cleveland broke its 52-year title drought.

An agreement on the extension was reportedly reached Monday. It's for five years and worth $35 million, according to league sources.

Yahoo Sports was the first to report the news of Lue and the Cavs.

And what's not to like about Lue?

He was charged with what seemed like an impossible task. He was expected to improve a 30-11 team.

That was the Cavs' record when David Blatt was fired at midseason. Remember, Blatt took an injury-plagued team to the NBA Finals last year.

Then Lue took over, and the Cavs went 27-14 in this season's second half. That was three wins less than Blatt compiled in the first half.

Blatt and the Cavs lost to the Warriors in six games, but Lue pushed the Cavs back to the finals. They trailed the Warriors 3-1 with Game 5 on the Warriors' home court.

It was over.

Or was it?

None of the previous 32 teams that trailed a finals series 3-1 had come back to win. Lue and the Cavs improved that record to 1-32.

Yes, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the men in uniform had a lot to do with that. But Lue did, too.

His style wasn't to scream Bobby Knight-like proclamations throughout the gym. He didn't give his players serious Gregg Popovich-like stares.

Lue led by keeping his composure, never getting too high or low. He was even-keel, and even when all seemed lost, so was his team.

This isn't to crown Lue as the second coming of Red Auerbach or Phil Jackson, or even the forever-underrated Doc Rivers. Lue may be there someday.

Right now, he's just the best coach for James, Irving, Kevin Love and the rest of this particular bunch. And the Cavs apparently believe he will be that coach for quite some time.

It's hard to blame them.

Lue shaped the Cavs into a champion. It was only a matter of time before they opened their pocketbooks to prove he's their man.