We have just seen a new low in the coaching career of Tyronn Lue, and possibly the moment that ensures that Lue never again coaches in the NBA after he is fired upon the departure of LeBron James from Cleveland following the Cavaliers’ defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Specifically, Lue’s failure to put Kyle Korver into Game 5, a game Cleveland lost 96-83 to the Boston Celtics.
Lue’s reason: He was waiting for the Celtics to put Semi Ojeleye, Korver’s “matchup”, to check into the game.
Ty Lue says that the Celtics "threw us (the Cavs) for a loop" by not playing Semi Ojeleye. Lue says he didn't play Kyle Korver during the 1Q because Ojeleye, "his matchup," didn't check in.
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) May 24, 2018
Ty Lue got shook by Brad Stevens not putting Semi Ojeleye into a conference finals playoff basketball game against a guy who is supposedly a championship coach but really only has that ring because LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.
LeBron James has a ring he won while being coached by a guy who got outfoxed by Semi Ojeleye sitting on the bench.
LeBron is the GOAT.
On to the actual game, LeBron had 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting. Kevin Love had 14 points on 6-of-13.
And taking away the 3-of-4 Cleveland shot in garbage time, the rest of the Cavs were 11-of-35 and at one point in the fourth quarter were 7-of-27.
Admittedly, Boston is trash on the road in the playoffs—this is the only reason this series didn’t end in five—but there is no way in heaven or earth or even LeBron that Cleveland wins Game 7 at the Garden.
Oh, and the Celtics? They just became the first team to shoot under 37 percent in a conference finals game and win since Detroit beat Indiana 69-65 on June 1, 2004 to advance to the NBA Finals against the Lakers, which would be a championship you’re forgiven if you forgot ever happened because the Dark Ages were terrible.
Boston shot 36.5 percent from the field and won 96-83. This was due to a combination of threes (13-of-39) and free throws (21-of-23.) Thank the gods for modern basketball.
The Celtics also committed just eight turnovers against Cleveland’s 15. So there’s that.
Jayson Tatum went 7-of-15 from the field, scored 24 points to lead his team, and fought his way to the line to go 7-of-8.
Jaylen Brown had a stat line that was James Harden Lite; he hit just 4-of-15 from the field but still had more points (17) than field goal attempts despite that 26.7 percent shooting night thanks to going 7-of-8 himself from the stripe.
You know what? This game straight-up sucked. Every series since Cavs-Pacers has straight-up sucked in these playoffs. Dwane Casey should be shot into the sun for getting swept by this atrocious Cleveland outfit. The Raptors are now garbage by association. Let’s just crown the winner of Warriors-Rockets the champions and skip the Finals entirely so we can all go back to the drawing board, and may the Celtics and Warriors meet in the Finals with both coaches throwing their isolation plays into the trash along with the iso-heavy Rockets and Cavs’ offenses.
We stand on the brink of a new Dark Age.
But for now, Jayson Tatum:
Jayson Tatum posts 24 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL to fuel the @celtics Game 5 home W!
— NBA (@NBA) May 24, 2018
Tomorrow: A recap of either the Rockets taking a commanding 3-2 lead or the Warriors shocking the world and setting the stage for a triumphant home Game 6. Either will do, really.
Stay tuned and thanks for reading!