There’s respecting your opponent. And then there’s what Cavs coach Ty Lue did yesterday. He had to give the media something…but not anything that would make tonight’s Game 5 against the Celtics any tougher, or their barn any more hostile, and without giving off the vibe that he and his guys were looking ahead to Golden State. Not easy. I get it.

So, Ty opened his mouth, and this is what came flying out:”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.”

“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.”

Uh oh! This is a huge Ty Lue house. I like him. I respect him. As a coach. And as a guy.   But damn – Ty, I know we’re all looking ahead to the finals and that coaches just CAN’T do that — but really? A Celtics team without I.T. is harder to defend than Golden State?  Doubt that.

Hell, a Celtics team with I.T., Kevin McHale and the Hick from French Lick and Robert Parish in their prime probably wouldn’t be as hard to defend as Golden State.

Don’t get me wrong. Brad Stevens IS a helluva coach. The rare college coach who could make the transition to the NBA and not only survive, but thrive as well. And he deserves all sorts of respect for his schemes… for quote, — “running all kinds of s***, man” as Ty would say it. But c’mon.

It’s one thing to say we’re not looking ahead to the Finals. It’s another to say the team we’re currently playing, without its best player, is a tougher match up than the team that is about to beat you in the Finals and rip back your title. Because they’re not. Obviously.  The Celtics don’t have two MVP’s, in Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, and one of the most versatile players in the league and its best defender in Draymond Green and one of the best shooters ever in Klay Thompson. A team that has ripped off 12 in a row to start the playoffs, something that has never been done before… and a team that is averaging 118 a night in the playoffs…10 points better than last year’s team, which should have won it all. The Warriors have all that. The Celtics have…well…Kelly Olynyk.

So I get that Ty has to say SOMETHING. But if you’re going to say THAT, better to say nothing at all. Because it’s only going to give even more fuel to a team that has already topped off its tank and is currently sitting at home waiting for you to finish off Boston.

So it’s not true and I have no idea why he’d say it. That’s definitely one Ty is going to wish he hadn’t said.


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