Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  

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Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 24, 2017 8:17 pm

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19455225/tyronn-lue-cleveland-cavaliers-says-boston-celtics-tougher-defend-golden-state-warriors




Cavaliers' Tyronn Lue: 'I don't even think about' Warriors



Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  



4:04 PM PT




Dave McMenamin
ESPN Staff Writer




BOSTON -- The Cleveland Cavaliers might be one win away from facing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third straight season, but Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said his team's current opponent in the Celtics is enough of a handful.

"I don't even think about them," Lue said of the Warriors to a small group of traveling Cleveland beat writers following the Cavs' Game 4 win on Tuesday. "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."

Wait, the Isaiah Thomas-less 53-win Celtics are harder to defend than the Kevin Durant-supercharged 67-win Warriors? Come again, Coach?

"Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s---," Lue said of Boston coach Brad Stevens' schemes. "I'll be like, 'F---.' They're running all kinds of s---, man. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough."

Despite the challenge, the Cavs lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-1 and can close out the series with a Game 5 win at TD Garden on Thursday.

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On the surface, Lue's claim sounds ridiculous, what with the Warriors trotting out two former MVPs in Durant and Stephen Curry, alongside the likes of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Meanwhile, the Celtics' leading scorer after the injured Thomas, Avery Bradley, is averaging just 16.4 points per game this postseason.

Furthermore, Golden State leads all playoff teams in points per game (118.3), team field goal percentage (50.2) and assists per game (27.8 ), and it is second in offensive efficiency (115.8 points per 100 possessions). While the Celtics are eighth in points (105.4), sixth in field goal percentage (45.eight), second in assists (27.4) and fifth in efficiency (109.0).

Yet, Lue said that the Celtics' unpredictability -- born out of necessity, with Thomas shutting his season down at halftime of Game 2 because of a hip injury -- has made things difficult after the coach had to scrap his defensive orders all catered toward limiting Thomas.


"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," Lue said of Thomas, who actually was averaging 23.3 points per game in these playoffs. "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 [in Game 4] that really helped us out."

Indeed, the Cavs -- after allowing a combined 118 points to the Celtics in the second half of Game 3 and the first half of Game 4 -- hunkered down after the break on Tuesday, holding Boston to just 42 points on 41.1 percent shooting in the second half.

With the Celtics suddenly challenging the Cavs after Cleveland won Games 1 and 2 by a combined 57 points, Lue was asked if Boston might be better without Thomas, its All-Star and face of the franchise.

"I don't know," Lue said. "Somebody just asked me that. I wouldn't say so, because at moments like this, when they needed a basket or a bucket, who do you really go to on a consistent basis? That's where he's big for this team. And of course, all the movement and stuff is good, but then there comes a time where, 'OK, we need a basket. So who do we go to get that?' And that's where he's been so big for them and so crucial this year."




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Re: Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  

Post by Rmbone on Thu May 25, 2017 12:11 am

Lue wrote:"Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s---," Lue said of Boston coach Brad Stevens' schemes. "I'll be like, 'F---.' They're running all kinds of s---, man. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough."

Everybody dreams about having three ball dominant ball stopping scorers, as if that will make the Celtics better than the Cavs, or at least give us our best chance to beat the Cavs.

Lue just admitted that our hot potato offense without IT is more challenging than the Dream Team of Curry/Durant/Klay/Green.

How did the colonists beat the Red Coats? It wasn't by marching down the street and fighting symmetrical warfare.

IT/Fultz/Hayward are never going to win a no-defense shootout against LeBron/Kyrie/Love, and certainly not against Curry/Durant/Klay.

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Re: Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  

Post by wideclyde on Thu May 25, 2017 1:10 pm

The Celtics current (missing Thomas) "system" may be harder to guard, but the Warriors talent cannot be stopped as easily as the lesser Cs talented players.

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Re: Is Boston harder to guard than Golden State?  

Post by gyso on Thu May 25, 2017 8:11 pm

Right after we traded Rondo and Green, our offense was mostly pace and space.  Players moving around, passing the ball, no one knew who was going to shoot. Eventually, it seemed that the other teams caught on and it didn't seem to be so successful.

With Isaiah starting, we changed to drive and dish, with some pace and space, but not as much.  No without him, many of our players remembered how the pace and space thing worked, so it clicked right off the bat.

That success doesn't mean that our offense works better without Isaiah.  It means that Cleveland's players didn't know what we would do without Isaiah.  Now that they have had a handful of quarters to see it, they have adjusted.

Lue is just making excuses for his team.  We are certainly not harder to guard than the Warriors.

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