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Thaddeus Young is not regarded as one of most outspoken players in the NBA, but as he watches the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom disposed of his Indiana Pacers in a grueling seven-game series in first round, in command of their second-round series with top-seeded Toronto, his words spoke volumes.
“It’s funny that you asked me that because I was just texting Vic (Oladipo), Darren Collison and Cory Joseph last night [after Game 2] and I said, ‘Man, so they’re just going to let Cleveland walk into the Eastern Conference Finals? They’re letting them walk into the next round,'” he said. “I told them, ‘Man, this is crazy. We’re supposed to be out there right now.’”
That’s not to way he was taking anything away from Cleveland, which advanced to the second round with a win in Game 7 on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.
“We all understand that we lost the series and there were self-inflicted mistakes on our part,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, Toronto has to at least win a couple games. The first game could have gone either way, but the second game? You can’t come back like that.”
All of which brought Young back to Kennedy’s original question.
“To answer your question, it’s damn frustrating to watch these games. We’re sitting at home and watching these games like, “Man, we would’ve at least been in the game. We would’ve at least gotten ourselves back into the game and made it a fight,’” Young said. “The series isn’t over – it’s a long series – and Toronto is definitely a good team. They can bounce back and win some games.
“But right now, it’s not looking too good for them, being down, 0-2.”
For his part, Young has a player option on his contract with Indiana, which calls for him to be paid $13.8 million in 2018-19.
“I know I have to make that decision by the end of June, but I haven’t made a final decision on what exactly I’m going to do yet,” Young, who spent much of the first round series against Cleveland defending either LeBron James or Kevin Love and averaged 11.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in the series. “I’m still in the process of sitting down with my agent and my business manager and my wife and my kids, and we’re talking about every opportunity and situation possible. We’ll look at everything that could happen.
“I’m kind of just enjoying my time off and not thinking about it right now, but I do need to start thinking about it over the next couple of weeks. But as of right now, I haven’t decided what I’m going to do or even thought too much about it.”