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The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are making history, becoming the first two teams in any of the big four of sports to play in four consecutive championship series, which they will do when the NBA Finals tip off Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
The significance of the Cavaliers and Warriors both simply getting to this point in four straight seasons is not lost on Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue.
“Playing them for the fourth time is just an unbelievable achievement. I don’t think people understand how hard it is,” Lue, who led Cleveland to the NBA championship in 2016, told ESPN’s The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “How hard it is to win. And to give the back to the Finals, it’s not easy. It’s tough. It’s a grueling season.”
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue to ESPN's The Undefeated on playing the Warriors in the NBA Finals for the fourth-straight time: "Playing them for the fourth time is just an unbelievable achievement. I don't think people understand how hard it is. How hard… https://t.co/w3ZG5YEXSH
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 29, 2018
Lue admitted, the regular season, the wins and losses can sometimes bleed into one another. This season, for example the Cavaliers won only 50 games during the regular season and entered the Eastern Conference playoffs as the fourth seed.
However, it didn’t stop Cleveland from taking out fifth-seeded Indiana, top-seeded Toronto and second-seeded Boston, respectively, in the first three rounds of the postseason this spring.
“When you get to the Finals so many times, the regular-season becomes boring,” Lue said. “It’s too long. So, to have the resilience to keep playing, keep fighting and not letting go of the rope, is huge.”
Lue has immense respect for the Warriors, who defeated the Cavaliers in six games in he Finals to win the 2015 NBA title and in five games last spring.
“They’re well coached team. I love (Warriors coach) Steve Kerr, what he’s done with that team,” he said. “They have a lot of firepower, they’re great defensively.
“To be the last teams left again, that’s a cool thing.”