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Tyronn Lue might rather be in Oakland, but if so, not for the reasons you might think.


Of course, it goes without saying any team would be enthusiastic about advancing to the next round - where the Cleveland Cavaliers would encounter the Golden State Warriors - but in this case, Lue was referring to his preference in facing the Warriors' offence. Lue seems to believe that the Boston Celtics are in fact the harder cover (per ESPN's Dave McMenamin):

"We're just focused on Boston. The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's [offense] for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing ... Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough ... With Isaiah going down, that's 29 points a game, and now you got to scheme and try to do something for a whole 'nother system ... It's tough. And we really didn't know what to expect. But I thought we did a good job of making some adjustments in the end of the second quarter and the third quarter and the second half [of Game 4] that really helped us out."

It seems, perhaps, Boston has hit on several minor weaknesses of the Cavs; moving the ball fluidly with a less obvious target to cover takes a lot more energy, and gives players less of a chance to take possessions off (though to be honest I don't see how that's easier than playing a starting unit with three of the best shooters in the league, but what do I know?). Throw in cold spells for shooting for the Cavs, a Marcus Smart career night - and if you believe Richard Jefferson, some ill-timed bugs - and you have a perfect storm of ailments to contend with. It's possible Lue is just doing his best to erode whatever underdog ethos powered Boston in Games 3 and 4 (would you blame him if he was?), but there's a chance he really believes Boston is a tougher matchup on at least one end of the floor. Ultimately, his opinion shouldn't matter, just how he responds on court.


For more stories about the Playoffs on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.



Photo via NBA.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 5/25/2017 10:24:00 AM Edit
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