Lue hints at starting Thompson in Game 2 to combat Horford

Tristan Thompson could be reinserted into the starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, according to coach Tyronn Lue.

Without coming out and saying it, expect Tyronn Lue to go back to Tristan Thompson at center for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

Thompson, whom Lue inserted as a starter for Game 7 against Indiana in the first round, has a well-documented history of being effective against Boston’s Al Horford.

“Looking at the statistics, over the last three years with at least 30 possessions (defending him), out of all the guys, Tristan is No. 1 in the league in defending Al Horford,” Lue said after practice Monday.

Horford shot 8-of-20 and scored 20 points as the Celtics romped over the Cavaliers, 108-83, in Game 1 on Sunday.

In the Cavaliers’ 2015 playoff series against Horford and the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland outscored Atlanta by 16 points per 100 possessions.

Thompson also dominated Horford in Cleveland’s 4-1 triumph over Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. Horford had an effective field-goal percentage of 81.8 percent while Thompson was not on the floor in that series, compared to 43.5 percent from Thompson was on the court, according to NBA.com.

3 Comments on "Lue hints at starting Thompson in Game 2 to combat Horford"

  1. Thompson is the best in the league at defending Horford. And Lue starts a guy playing out of position instead. Amazing, when did Lue find this out?

  2. I think it was the right move to start out with Love at center since that lineup had been rolling. And the reality is that if Lebron plays an average Lebron game and JR and Korver hit their open shots at an average rate, that’s a way different game. But at the same time, Thompson starting is the most logical move.

    He tends to own Horford (although, he’s at another level at the moment), and going big puts Boston in a tough position. Even if Lue said before the game he was going to start Tristan, Stevens probably stays with Morris because that’s basically the only lineup they have that can score consistently. But it means they’re going to be undersized on the boards and have to choose between keeping Morris on Lebron and putting Tatum on Love or putting Morris on Love and leaving the Rook to deal with Lebron. I don’t think either are ideal scenarios for them.

    It means Lue’s gonna have to dust off Larry Nance, but I really think this series has some good matchups for him. Baynes is a tough cover on the glass, but Nance’s speed and athleticism is going to be an equally tough cover for him on the offensive end, and the way they can run the offense through him in the high post a little bit brings some order to the second unit.

    And ideally Tristan balls out so hard it forces them to go big and put Baynes in the starting lineup at some point because their offense falls off a cliff with him on the floor, and their defense also unless Smart is on the floor. Baynes isn’t so skilled and big that you can’t slot Love on him and keep Tristan on Horford, and it’s another guy to hunt on the offensive end to get Lebron a mismatch. And when they try to do their switch and recover, Baynes will be a lot slower recovering than the Morris.

    • Well, Jack, I’m for starting YOU at Head Coach !
      AGREE 100% Why can’t Lue-ser see these things ? ALL YEAR !
      Agree to try to start it out since it was working, BUT this is a DIFFERENT TEAM(emphasising TEAM) with a REAL Coach.
      If it did NOT work early on-changes needed to occur instantly, not as “Late LUE” does. He’s always late in momentum swing time outs too. CLE is OUT-COACHED AGAIN. Only “Super-Lebron” can overcome the coaching deficit, & bail them out; and that’s with a LOT of teammates actually MAKING shots, not just throwing the ball near the rim hoping for a drop through. THIS IS THE GAME tonight. Hoping a fire has been lit. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

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